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Title: The changing role of small-scale builders in the provision of low-cost housing in developing countries : case studies from Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Author: Magalhaes, Edmundo de Werna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 0067
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1992
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This research has a twofold focus: the factors which enable small-scale builders to produce low-cost housing in developing countries, and the effects of their process of capitalization on the supply of this type of housing. Two basic assertions are made: first, small-scale builders have a degree of flexibility and prices which enable them to respond to the specific characteristics of the demand for low-cost housing in developing countries. Second, if support is given to these builders, they will move towards capitalist production, and such fact, ceteris paribus, will drive them away from the arena of low-cost housing production. The research aims at demonstrating general theoretical principles. It has used a testing process which utilizes an inductive system of applying the results of case-studies carried out in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to the broad phenomenon of the subject being investigated. The empirical findings confirm the research's assertions in general terms. Their main conclusion is that the provision of equipment, credit and managerial and labour force training open up possibilities for the builders to capitalize. Their capitalization, in turn, results in the loss of the factors which enable them to produce low-cost housing, and, therefore, their discontinuation of low-cost housing production. The major implication of the research findings is that they challenge the widespread view that the implementation of policy proposals in support of small-scale builders in developing countries will instinctively increase the supply of low-cost housing. The capitalization of individual builders does not mean that small-scale building production in general will end, for the gap left empty by the builders whose business grow and who move away from low-cost housing production may be filled again by newcomers. However, the new builders, if also supported, will move as well, going through the same process. Thus, the support given to the small-scale builders will be used outside low-cost housing production. As concluding remarks, the research also identifies policies to foster the demand side of low-cost housing, and ways of supporting the development of small-scale builders in order to create conditions for them to increase their supply of low-cost housing. Avenues for further investigation also are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available