Multi-Habitation: Urban Housing and Everyday Life in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe

Synopsis

This is a study of everyday life and the quality of living in a poor neighbourhood of Chitungwiza, an independent Zimbabwean town about thirty kilometres south of Harare city centre. In the official view, this is a home-ownership neighbourhood. However, there are usually many families living in multi-habitation on each property, and lodgers outnumber owners. Within a restricted area people have to negotiate over, and adapt their use of space. Their ability to do so differs, depending on whether they are owners, tenants or lodgers, women or men, children, adults or elderly, and whether they are gainfully employed or not. The histories told by the people who are given voice in this report point to housing as highly significant in their coping with poverty, and to multi-habitation as affecting their agency as urban citizens.

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