Urban Housing and Livelihoods (UHL)

Housing is understood as more than a roof over one’s head, or “more than just houses”. It often represents the most valuable asset a household strives to access. To many households around the world it is a continuous challenge to gain access or to sustain access to this, what is in fact a human right, of adequate housing. In the same way households struggle with sustaining their livelihoods. It is therefore crucial to understand which processes and factors influence the housing and livelihoods strategies of the urban poor.

One of the six thematic areas at IHS is Urban Housing and Livelihoods. The starting point of the specialization is the understanding of the complex meaning of housing, beyond housing as a commodity, through different housing theories. UHL researches the links between housing and the livelihood strategies of the urban poor. It analyses livelihood assets in view of their vulnerability and institutional context, and the review of current trends and paradigms in housing and social policies. It includes an in-depth understanding of (inclusionary and cross-cutting) housing policies targeting low income households and the urban poor.

To successfully complete this specialization, students are expected to learn and apply theories from the literature, to investigate cases and complete assignments, as well as conducting their own research at an academic level during the specialization period and the master thesis.

The Urban Housing and Livelihoods specialization is part of the IHS Master's programme on Urban Management and Development

You will find more information here on the UHL specialization as well as other activities (research, advisory and other education) that are conducted by the UHL team. IHS to the core explains further how this triangle is at the core of our work.

Student's Testimonial

What I found very exciting is that with personal attention, discussions in the class, intensive group work and academic games, the UHL specialization ensures an in-depth understanding to every topic of urban housing and livelihoods.” – Florence Abugtane Avogo, Ghana, master’s student 2013-2014.