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Assessing Housing Needs in Gaza, June 2007- December 2011

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ABSTRACT

This study provides an estimation of the accumulated housing needs in the Gaza strip as a result of the ongoing four year blockade on Gaza and the concurrent rapid population growth since 2007. This assessment of needs is based on growth projections of households and housing units stemming from baseline data established by the 2007 census, conducted in Gaza by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). The head of household rate method, recommended by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs committees involved in these fields, is the methodology used in this study to predict the growth of households. This assessment also considered the need for replacing existing marginal, substandard, depreciated, and destroyed housing units in its final analysis, as well as the number of units required to relieve current over-crowding levels in Gaza.

The results of this study show that, by the end of 2011, a total of 71,234 housing units are required in Gaza to address current population needs. This includes 67,151 units needed since June, 2007, and an accumulated shortage of 4,083 units prior to 2007. The results show that about 79% of the housing needs are due to natural population growth, and about 9% are due to destruction of housing during and prior to the 2008/2009 “Cast Lead” military operation. Replacement of substandard and depreciated units account for 7% of the caseload, and requirements to relieve over-crowded units accounts for 5%.

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this desk study was to attempt to quantify and model sources of housing needs in the Gaza strip at the end of 2011. While housing damage caused by Operation “Cast Lead” remains the immediate focus of the humanitarian community, it is important to consider and estimate other sources of housing shortages that currently exist and are likely to have an increased negative impact in the future. Housing shortages are of particular concern as they inevitably lead to overcrowding, which in turn negatively affects privacy and creates potential protection concerns for vulnerable groups. Consequently, quantifying the housing shortfall is seen as invaluable for both current and future planning and highlights increased challenges should the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of essential building materials continue. This study used population modeling methodology to estimate current housing needs and replacement rates as a result of the following factors:

  1. New Households Information.
  2. Depreciated Housing.
  3. Marginalized/Sub-Standard Housing.
  4. Overcrowding.
  5. Repairs of damaged units.

Several reasonable assumptions were made during the calculations, and the end results prove comparable to more qualitative estimations of the situation.