'Addis has run out of space': Ethiopia's radical redesign (The Guardian)

In efforts to face the immense challenge of rapid urbanisation in Ethiopia, the national government has made radical reforms to its housing policy. Since 2006, the government’s integrated housing and development plan (IHDP) has transferred more than 250,000 subsidised flats to new owners in Addis Ababa and smaller towns – helping to meet supply constraints and increase the affordability of the housing ladder. The question is whether the reforms are enough to face Ethiopia’s seemingly insurmountable urban pressures, and even so, what are the consequences of the government’s approach?

In this article, which featured in the Guardian, Tom Gardner discusses some of the challenges for urban housing policy in Ethiopia, the pros and cons of the government’s reform agenda, and the lessons to consider for future policy. The article covers much of the recent research undertaken by Simon Franklin, as part of the Urbanisation in Developing Countries project. Simon’s research looks into the type of people who manage to win the lottery that allocates apartments – finding that demand is driven disproportionately by young professionals – and the effects of winning the lottery on people’s lifestyle and employment choices.

To read more about Simon's research project on the Ethiopian housing program; click here.