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Housing the Poor: The Challenge of Urbanization

INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS are a glaring manifestation of poverty and inequality amid the growth and prosperity brought by urbanization, the spatial concentration of diverse populations and economic activities. Meeting the housing need of informal settlers, who make up a significant proportion of the urban population, has been and remains a daunting task and challenge for the government and the private housing market.

This issue of the Intersect Quick Facts provides a broad picture of urbanization in the Philippines and of how informal settlements have been a defining feature of this significant and irreversible demographic trend. It describes briefly the government’s approaches in responding to the housing needs of informal settlers, and presents innovative solutions by non-government actors that allow the poor to take full advantage of laws that guarantee their right to adequate housing.

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