Mauritius, Social Housing: Social Movement and Low Income Housing in Mauritius

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Mauritius: Social Housing
Social Movement and Low Income Housing in Mauritius
Abstract: The Republic of Mauritius has been a model success story in both economic and social progress among both the African nations and the whole world. Despite many odds, the country has made tremendous economic progress and has succeeded at the same time to uplift significantly the living standards of the population in general. This paper gives an overview of the matter of the low-income housing in Mauritius. The first part of the paper gives the economical background and the evolution of the social movement in Mauritius. The second part introduces the current housing conditions and the situation of poverty and low-income groups in Mauritius. Finally the strategy of social housing is discussed. The Mauritius social housing strategy is discussed in terms of the changes in the institutional structure, and policies. Then the types of social housing and their financing are introduced. Keywords: Mauritius; Welfare State; Social Housing; Low Income Households

AUTAR Bhotish Awtar | 博帝 | Matric No: 2011280122 | Masters Candidate Tsinghua University | School of Architecture | Department of Urban Planning Please submit any feedback to bhotish@hotmail.com Submitted to: 邓卫 |dengweizyh@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn |城市经济学 Submission date: 17th June 2012

Introduction At independence, Mauritius did not appear predestined for the progress that followed. Challenges included: extreme cultural diversity as well as racial inequality; power concentrated in a small elite (of French & British colonial descendants); high unemployment; and high population growth. The country suffered from an economic crisis throughout the 1970s, was remote from world markets and was commodity dependent. It also exhibited low initial levels of human development. Nobel Laureate for Economics, James Meade even said in 1961, as quoted below: “It is going to be a great achievement if Mauritius can find productive employment for its population without a serious reduction in the existing standard of living...The outlook for peaceful development is poor” Despite multiple factors stacked against it, Mauritius has achieved stellar progress in economic conditions, and has been unique in its ability to take advantage of privileged access to international markets to develop in a sustained and equitable manner. This has been enabled and complemented by effective poverty reduction and equitable improvements in human development. These achievements have been made by means of: a concerted strategy of nation building; strong and inclusive institutions; high levels of equitable public investment in human development; and a pragmatic development strategy (Vandemoortele, 2010). This success against all odds was coined as the ‘Mauritian Miracle’. In independence year of 1968, the country’s GDP per capita was US$ 2601, and in 2010, the figure rose to around US$ 14,0002 in 2010. Comparatively, in 2010 the average GNI per capita (PPP) for Sub-Saharan Africa stood at 2,1083. During the same period of 1968 to 2010, population rose from 787,000 to 1,281,0004. In 2011, an expectancy of life of 73 years5 at birth and the country had a Human Development Index (HDI) score of 7.26, compared with an average of 4.6 in the Sub-Saharan African region. The country was also ranked highest on the Earth Institute’s World Happiness Index among the Sub-Saharan African countries7, leaving behind Botswana and South Africa, other regional economic champions. Socialist movement in Mauritius Mauritius is a welfare state. It has a comprehensive social security system for the whole population and various other social protection schemes. Education is free from primary to university level, with 1 2

Source: IFAD, 2005 For 2010, GDP per capita (PPP) of US$ 14,194, according to IMF, 2011 World Economic Outlook, and GNI per capital (PPP) of 13,960 (units International Dollar) according to World Bank, 2011 3 (units International Dollar)...
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