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Construction; Public housing and the private sector

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Chapter Summary

The principal urban housing policy over a longer period, in 'normal' years, was public housing: the state provision of housing to people either by constructing new houses or indirectly by preparing building land and offering loans. Public housing was to some extent an alien concept in colonial Indonesia. The economy of the Netherlands Indies was essentially a liberal one, and most construction work was undertaken by the private sector. The public sector was relatively small and did not weigh heavily on the housing market. Public housing occupied one segment in the fragmented rental market, and, unlike rent control and Housing Allocation Bureaus of the late 1940s, did not affect the housing market across the board. The role of public housing only becomes entirely clear when it is examined in the context of the overall situation in construction, including the private sector.

Keywords: colonial Indonesia; Housing Allocation Bureaus; Netherlands Indies; private sector; public housing



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