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Callaghan, N and Marcano-Salcedo, M (2020) A Study of the Housing Needs of Residents in Informal Settlements in the Dominican Republic. In: Scott, L and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 36th Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-8 September 2020, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 546-555.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: Housing, Poverty, Resilience, Sustainable Development, Urban Sprawl
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-3-2
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/3db470b9c48ee8e0d6a6f6a3cd7ed0e1.pdf
  • Abstract:

    In 2015, a new sustainable development agenda was introduced aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030; which extends to making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Despite progress being made, one billion people currently live in informal settlements, commonly referred to as slums, which are characterised by overcrowded spaces, substandard dwellings where the occupant does not have legal rights to claim, and a lack of basic services such as sanitation and safe drinking water. It is therefore paramount to develop meaningful knowledge to overcome the real-world challenges of housing and human settlement issues faced by communities, in order to contribute to building a more prosperous society, making a positive impact and committing to the common good. This research, assesses the living conditions of slum dwellers in an attempt to suggest ways of overcoming housing concerns in urban areas of the Dominican Republic that are particularly vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards. The findings from 135 questionnaire responses suggest that only seven per cent of slum dwellers have direct access to safe water, which is contrary to past studies and reports. Furthermore, there is a strong cause-and-effect-relationship between life satisfaction and electricity provision amongst slum dwellers. The findings also indicate that current approaches aimed at tackling housing needs are not sufficient to overcome the overall problem, however, they do generate some improvement when compared to previous endeavours in the past twenty years. Finally, it is recommended that slum resettlement as a strategy should be avoided in favour of upgrading programmes.