Urban Land Policy and Practice in Ethiopia: A Case Study of Formal Residential Land Supply Procedures and Practices from Hossana Town, Southern Ethiopia

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Addis ababa university


This study examined the implementation of currently functioning urban land policy with particular attention to the practicality of the procedural activities of the supply serviced residential land in the case of Hossana town. In order to obtain insights about the actual realities on the ground, based on a case study approach, it focused on the status of legal framework guiding the implementation of urban land policy; policy and procedures related to serviced urban land supply; practicality of procedural activities of residential land supply; factors affecting the implementation of residential land supply procedures; and socioeconomic consequences of the failure of urban land policy implementing agency to supply serviced residential land. A case study strategy with mixed research approach methods was employed. Primary data was obtained through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and field observation. Secondary data involved reviewing official reports, policy documents, and other relevant literature. Data were analyzed using the thematic analysis approach which involved dada reduction, coding of the data, data display, and interpreting the data using words and statements descriptively; and presented using words, statements, tables, percentages, graphs, and charts. The findings show that urban land policy is not successfully implemented in terms of supplying residential land and associated basic infrastructure that can respond to demand for urban land through formally recognized modalities. Currently functioning legal framework guiding the supply of residential land is characterized by a deficiency of precondition for effective supply of serviced land via formal channels. These preconditions comprise making landholders central to the formulation as well the implementation of legal frameworks; exhaustively offering a feasible solution to the urban land supply problem, availability of contextualized, clear and up-date rules and regulations. The supply of serviced residential land cannot be properly implemented and achieved without the existence of the aforesaid necessities. The absence of urban land development and management agency at kebele level, inadequate coordination/integration/ between land policy implementing stakeholders, financial problems, lack of leadership commitment, the resistance of landholders, improper political interference are identified as factors adversely affecting the practicality of the supply of serviced residential land. The growth of land supply channels performing outside the formal legal framework, restrained revenue generation by the municipality, exclusion of people from investing in residential housing, limited xx income-generating opportunities of individuals, exclusion of people from accessing urban basic infrastructure, escalation of land price, intensification of land speculation and inequalities, intensification on difficulties of governance of the land sector, land-related disputes, and enabling a conducive condition for the rent-seeking web are investigated as the main consequences of the failure of urban land policy implementing agency to supply serviced urban land via formal channels. On the other hand, sufficient enforcement, establishing and strengthening urban land development and management agency at kebele (grassroots administrative level), eliminating inappropriate interference from land policy implementing agencies, motivating leadership commitment in the urban land sector, allocating realistically sufficient financial and other resources for the purpose of residential land supply, firming up the application of the demand-oriented approach to urban residential land supply, enabling the proper functionality of land banking system, facilitating residential land supply loans program, and strengthening coordination among urban land policy implementing stakeholders are suggested by the study for improving the status of the practicality of objectives of urban land policy in general and the procedural activities of supply of residential land with associated infrastructure through formal modalities in particular.



Urban land, urban land policy, implementation, serviced land supply, residential land, formal modality, Hossana