FLEXIBILITY OF DWELLING UNITS IN MULTIFAMILY HOUSING -The case of Ubungo and Garden flats National Housing Corporation schemes in Dar es Salaam

  • Daniel Mbiso Ardhi University


Flexibility in dwelling units allows for easy and economical physical change and adaptation of spaces for the changing circumstances and needs of dwellersover the life of the dwelling. However, the knowledge on how dwelling units in multi-family housing respond physically and programmatically to the changing spatial needs of dwellers is still limited.

Hence this paper is aiming at examining the potential and capacity for the dwelling units in multifamily housing in Tanzania to respond to various spatial needs of dwellers over time. Various spatial needs of people and aspects of flexibility as applied to housing were analysed; with a particular reference to Ubungo and Garden flats National Housing Schemes in Dar es Salaam. The study for which this paper is based employed an empirical investigation in which information on changing spatial needs of dwellers and how various aspects of flexibility apply in multifamily housing was sought in the two housing schemes. Data collection methods included literature review, observation, Focus Group Discussion and in-depth interviews.

It was established that the design of housing schemes in Tanzania does not take into account the concept of flexibility as the overall idea of accommodating the dynamic spatial changes of dwellers. The paper, therefore, recommends design approaches that can be used to achieve flexibility at minimum inconvenience and budget in this type of dwelling units


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