Part 2 - In Situ Upgrading Principles and Policies

The Housing Code is well written, easy to understand and a working knowledge of its contents is essential for all practitioners. It contains a simplified guide as its Part 1. The upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme is found in Chapter 5 of Volume 4 of Part 3.

The most important characteristic of the UISP is that it promotes and provides finance for the upgrading of informal settlements in their existing locations – often called ‘in situ upgrading’. If the informal settlement has insufficient land to accommodate all of its residents, then the UISP can also be used to finance the purchase and development of some suitable land to house the overflow.  However relocation must only be considered as a last resort, and where it is unavoidable it must be based on minimal disruption to the affected persons and the relocation site must be as close as possible to the existing settlement.

For many housing practitioners, the UISP requires a new way of thinking. Instead of ‘eradicating informal settlements’, it is intended to improve them incrementally step-by-step in their existing location. Instead of harassing residents of informal settlements, they are to be provided with security of tenure and the whole upgrading process is to be done in partnership with the residents. These documents provide an introduction:

  • The Case for Incremental Housing
  • Sustainable Housing Policy & Practice Sustainable Housing Microfinancing.
  • About Slum Upgrading

The place of in situ upgrading in the South African housing policy is described in Volume 1 Part 2 of the Housing Code . In situ upgrading has been practised successfully in other countries for many years, and you can learn from some of their experiences below: