Improving Protections for Urban Renters in the Global South

The policy brief was written as a component of the Urbanization and International Development course offered Spring 2014.  The paper addresses the need to better protect renters from the adverse impacts of rapid urbanization in the Global South.  It responds to the fact that urban renters, despite the challenges they face, have long been overlooked by policy-makers and planners.  The brief begins by unpacking the heterogeneity of renters as well as the nuanced and highly context-specific relationships that exist between diverse groups of renters and landlords.  It then enumerates some of the primary challenges that renters face, including: weak contractual rights, perceptions of transience, substandard housing, frequent evictions, weak enforcement of protections, and limited mobilization.  The brief aims to inform the ways in which policies can be tailored to better address the needs of this vulnerable group.  The brief concludes with a series of guiding principles and organizational, procedural, legal, and physical strategies to protect and empower rentals in the Global South.

Excerpts from the brief were included in the September 2014 edition of the International Union of Tenants’ quarterly magazine, the Global Tenant.

Urbanization and International Development seminar (MUP, MAUD, MDes)
Instructor: Michael Hooper
Sponsor: International Union of Tenants