Housing Crisis in Central Asia

Independent states have emerged in Central Asia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The media has paid considerable attention to the larger economic and social aspects of the transition of these states from a communist to a free market economy. However, little has been written about the housing crisis that the people in these republics are facing as a result of the demise of the Soviet system. This book tries to bridge this gap and create a better understanding about the housing situation in Central Asian states.

In 1995, the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) was requested to provide technical assistance and advice to the Central Asian and foreign NGOs for their housing-rights-related activity in Almaty and Bishkek, the capitals of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan respectively. Two ACHR missions, of which the author was a member, visited Almaty and Bishkek in 1996 and 1997. Part one of this book consists of the mission reports that analyse the housing situation in the two Central Asian republics and propose ways of initiating processes that can lead to the development of community-managed housing and infrastructu re projects. This part is really a textbook on how a particular situation can be viewed and analysed and how planning that leads to the empowerment of people can be undertaken. As such, it is of considerable value to students and professionals involved in development-related work.

Arif Hasan’s travel notes, which form the second part of the book, describe people and places, give an interesting account of how people feel and think, what their aspirations and problems are, how they view the changes that have taken place in Central Asia after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and how these changes have affected their lives.


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