“No Woman is an Island”: The Housing Market Access Strategies by Female-Headed Households in Kampala

  • Moses Batanda Mubiru Lecturer; School of the Built Environment, Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda
  • Wilbard Kombe Senior Professor, Institute of Human Settlement Studies, Ardhi University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Tatu Mtwangi Limbumba Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Human Settlement Studies, Ardhi University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Keywords: Informal Housing; Housing Markets; Uganda; Female-Headed Households


This paper investigates how low-income female-headed households exploit the social livelihoods assets to participate in Kampala city's informal urban housing market. It further explores the various strategies which, in the absence of financial assets, are explored by the female-headed households to access and participate in the housing markets. The study is qualitative and adopts a case study research strategy that recruited thirty-seven (n=37) participants from Luzira-Kisenyi informal settlement in Kampala city. It adopted purposive and exponential discriminative snowball sampling procedures in selecting participants. The data collection techniques employed included in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and document analysis. Content analysis was primarily employed during the analysis phase, and to ensure confidentiality, the participants’ identities were allocated pseudonyms. The paper explores the various strategies which, in the absence of financial assets and amidst the inefficiencies of the formal housing delivery, are explored by the female-headed households to access and participate in the housing market of Luzira-Kisenyi, Kampala. The strategies explored by the women heads of households have been identified in four categories. These include access and interchange of the local housing market information, negotiation of rent payment modalities, maneuvering through a discriminative mainstream housing market, and security of tenancy. Overall, the strategies are socially embedded, and their sustainability depends on the actors maintaining the social ties that they accumulate from time to time. The paper finally implores housing policymakers to embrace the socialised informal participation in the property markets critically and rather lay adequate strategies for its adequate operationalisation than total disregard.


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How to Cite
Mubiru, M. B., Kombe, W., & Limbumba, T. M. (2022). “No Woman is an Island”: The Housing Market Access Strategies by Female-Headed Households in Kampala. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 5(6), 17-34. https://doi.org/10.47814/ijssrr.v5i6.409