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Tanzania is a socialist stale and as such it has an inherent responsibility to provide housing for all who need it. Because of this, normal market forces do not influence the acceptability of housing units, nor does the ability to pay directly affect the entitlement of people to have housing. In addition, land is considered a basic right for all, regardless of economic constraints.
All urban housing, however, must eventually be paid for by someone, whether it be private individuals, parastatals, or Government. A comparison of salaries with house costs indicates that virtually all housing is more expensive than can be afforded by the occupants. Consequently, all housing must be subsidized, either directly or indirectly, by the Government. It then becomes a political decision to determine the level of subsidies for housing, based on policies of equality, the rights of the rural versus the urban population, etc. With limited financial resources and inadequate construction capacity, it becomes apparent that subsidies should be kept to a reasonable minimum and the standards of housing must be the most modest level which is acceptable to the people and to TANU. Housing, even at that standard, already has a considerable demand; anything above that level would increase demand by the higher expectations it generates among migrants, without affecting the supply which is constrained by the capacity of the construction industry. It is also clear that increasing the standard and cost of housing would stretch the limited resources, so as to decrease the amount of housing that can be built, thereby increasing the likelihood of illegal squatter developments.