A more detailed analysis on the supply side of the housing sector underlines the contribution of liberalizing and deregulating land and housing markets, providing incentives to private-sector construction activity, and encouraging public/private partnerships. But experience shows that such measures must be undertaken within the framework of strong government action (and capacity to intervene in markets) so that supply constraints are dealt with on a more consistent and vigorous basis than is the case if markets and private-sector interests are simply 'left to themselves'.
On the demand side, provision of security of tenure has increasingly been recognized as the fundamental element to increase investment in the housing sector, particularly in mobilizing the savings and capacity of the poor to improve their housing. Improvements in demand management since 1976 have not been very promising. Formal housing-finance systems continue to exclude those on low and unstable incomes, though there are some encouraging experiments which show that poor people can be effective customers of commercial banks and building societies. Informal systems continue to serve the urban poor, but often at too small a scale, and/or at relatively higher costs. Linking informal and formal systems together (as when a savings-and-credit group opens an account in a commercial bank), seems to offer a way forward in achieving scale, sustainability and access simultaneously. The most important constraint on the demand for housing -- pervasive urban poverty -- continues to hamper progress in obvious ways, though more attention is now being paid to urban poverty alleviation by governments, NGOs and donors. Labour-intensive growth, investment in human capital and provision of social safety nets seem to be the fundamental elements of a general approach which would contribute to the improvement of housing conditions.