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'Build Your Own Home': state-assisted self-help housing in Canada, 1942–75

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Recently, aided self-help housing, whereby governments help families to build homes, has been implemented in the developing world but its potential elsewhere has been neglected. The best-known programme, run by the City of Stockholm (1927–90s), showed that almost any family could erect a decent dwelling, but was inflexible. Operating on municipally owned land, it relied on prefabrication. From 1942 to 1975, a Canadian 'Build Your Own Home' programme offered financial, legal and technical assistance to amateur builders. The scheme enabled families to build different types of dwellings, in different ways, on privately owned sites, in a variety of geographical settings. Unfortunately, it encouraged scattered development. A better-planned version could have been implemented in many countries, and might still be.

Document Type: Regular Paper


Publication date: October 1, 2002

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