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As the main focus of the BCI, Africa and India are undergoing a massive urban transition, representing 11.3 and 17.7 percent of the world’s urban population respectively and over a half of the world’s fastest-growing cities. By 2050, urban population of this region combined is projected to reach approximately 2 billion compounded by migration from rural areas in search of economic opportunities arising from agglomeration. This includes a youth cohort under the age of 25 making up 55 percent of the population, which points to sustained demand for housing into the future.
Shortages in affordable housing across this region are developing into a crisis, currently estimated at 80 million dwellings, which will only increase if the issue is not addressed. This has also resulted in the development of slums on the fringes of many urban areas.
According to the Slum Almanac 2015 2016 (UN-HABITAT) and the World Bank, more than half of the urban population in Africa and 24% of the urban population in India live in slums which are characterised by problems such as: lack of access to uncontaminated water, absence of adequate, hygienic sanitation facilities, lack of sufficient living space, lack of durable, weather resistant housing and absence of security of tenure.
Most houses in urban areas are constructed incrementally as finance and materials become available. The rental market has been increasing significantly, but many rental dwellings do not meet the United Nations Human Rights definition of “adequate housing”.