Seven – fold Development Programme

1.0   Human Development Programme
2.0   Relocation/Rehousing Programme
3.0   Diriya Urban Housing Loan Programme
4.0   Affordable Housing Programme
5.0   Rental Housing Programme for Urban Community
6.0   Upgrading of Urban Underserved Settlements & Regularization Provision of Sanitation Facilities
7.0   Urban Redevelopment Programme

1.0  Human Development Programme

Community empowerment is done through Community organizations for the formulation of plans for the physical and human development of the settlement with the involvement of beneficiaries.

Target Groups

  • Women
  • Children
  • Youth (unemployed / school levers)
  • Elderly people

The ultimate objective of the programme is to optimize the efficiency of each target group in selected areas and mix them with the city’s mainstream.

Sub programmes implemented under this programme

  • Empowering the community for implementing the community participatory projects
  • Micro level Entrepreneurship Development Programme (Self-employment scheme )
  • Child Development Programme
  • Savings Promotion Programme
  • Youth Development Programme (Vocational Training Programme & Sports Development)
  • Community Participatory Physical & Environmental Projects
  • Religious and Social & Cultural Programmes for Youth and Children
  • Solid Waste Management Programme
  • Urban Agriculture Programme
  • Drug and Alcohol Prevention Programme

Human Development Programme implemented with respect to the Physical Development Programme

  • Socio economic survey, analysis and preparation of reports on beneficiary families
  • Implementation of socio economic and cultural programmes for the target beneficiaries (with special attention to children, youth and women)
  • Formation of Community Based Organizations in such selected settlements/ locations
  • Post mobilization activities after relocation of beneficiaries

2.0  Relocation / Rehousing Programme

The programme was designed with the prime objective of upgrading the quality of life of city dwellers living in under–served settlements (slum & shanty settlements) unfit for human living by enabling them to trade-off their plot of encumbered land against a modern housing unit. The strategy is mainly based on the land value and the density.
Relocation process is totally done in voluntary basis. Social harmony, communal lifestyle & the livelihood is well-thought-out and create an environment conducive to improve the social standing of a stratum of the society.
The process is to liberate encumbered prime urban lands for urban regeneration process which is ranging from affordable housing development to the pure commercial building development after allotting environmental sensitive lands for appropriate purposes. Financial return produced by the said regeneration process will be reinvested for performing the next development cycle.
Primary reasons such as poverty, social environment and lack of resources and proper educational background have kept these groups which are an integral part of the society away from mainstream housing. Slum and shanty dwellers, underserved communities, squatters, poor families at rural level as well as the disabled, women-headed households, estate community, fisher folks and other vulnerable groups belong to this category. The government should directly intervene for fulfilling their housing needs and build up their asset base, enabling the housing and financing institutions to have trust on them and also the economic and social uplift of these communities.
A significant segment of Sri Lanka’s housing needs is for upgrading, extending or renovating of their existing houses. The informal income earners most of them are in rural and semi urban areas have been marginalized from the formal housing market owing to their inability to declare a fixed income and obstacles they face in offering guarantees. Migrant workers who contribute a higher percentage to the national economy are a leading group in this category.

Relocation Process

7 fold

3.0  Diriya Urban Housing Loan Programme

Diriya Urban Housing Programme was started with an intention of converting the substandard housing stock into the standard housing stock in urban declared areas. The target community has the characteristic of possession of a land and they lack accessibility to formal financial organizations. Therefore, the process of selecting the beneficiaries has been focused on paying attention to provide financial assistance for the people who cannot provide evidence of formal & regular income in general and who could not afford to obtain loans from formal financial institutions. Wide-ranging package comprising of financial assistance (long-term loan), technical assistance (from start to end) and socio-economic & cultural empowerment are provided to beneficiaries. Continuous supervision from start to end is ensured in the construction and improvement of housing units. The loan programme is designed to construct a new house or to renovate / to make an existing house.

4.0  Affordable Housing Programme

“Sri Lanka which is deemed as a middle income country now has witnessed a gradual increase in the middle class. Though middle income groups are able to obtain a loan from the open financial market for the construction or purchase of a house, the majority of them want to fulfill their housing loan requirements either from a state or private bank through simple procedures. However the absence of financial capacity adequate enough to meet this demand is a problem faced by such financial institutions at present”
Liberated fitting lands will be utilized for affordable urban housing for the middle and upper-middle class and the financial return produced by the said development will be reinvested for performing the next development cycle. This is a market driven process within the planning regulation of UDA.

5.0  Rental Housing Programme for Urban Community

The demand for rental housing has gone up in recent times due to increasing urbanization, income level and population growth and migration to urban areas. Especially, the new generations who do not intend to have permanent ownership of a property in an urban areas or not willing to invest for that purpose are more inclined towards rental housing. Though private sector investors have stepped into the rental housing market following with various tax holidays and other incentives offered by the government fulfilling the demand for rental housing among high income groups, and there has been a significantly less investment in rental housing for low and middle income groups at an affordable monthly rental. Consequently, tenants have been forced to agree to conditions imposed by house owners and live in substandard houses with minimum facilities. The strengthening of the rental housing market will help in enhancing the productivity in the construction sector and service sector while minimizing the number of people commuting daily to their work places in urban areas. Though investors and property developers have been offered various tax holidays for the constructions in the rental housing sector and making higher profits, it appears that bitter experiences in the past as regards the legislation on rental housing and tenant rights have discouraged them investing in this sector. How to inspire the market for rental housing investment is an important area to be considered and the risk and the return for the rentals compare to any other assets are the determinative factors for rental housing investment.. Issues associated with maintenance and management of rental housing seem to have distanced the gov-ernment from this sector and other countries too have encoun-tered similar experiences.


In recent decades, there has been increasing pressure on all lev-els of governments globally to improve performance. Under the strategic vision of the GOSL is in the position of strengthening the entire public sector with growing performance of all the par-ticipants.
Among the total Sri Lankan population approximately 1.23 Mil-lion works in public sector are mainly concentrated in Colombo and other cities. So, most of public servants have to travel a long way to these urban centers from their homes in every day, as there are no suitable houses around their working places. It is well accepted that offering accommodation facilities near their working places with reasonable rate will greatly improve their working efficiency and output.
Main segments of public and private servants are presently expe-riencing that they cannot raise a sizable capital to build their own house in cities and its suburbs. The exorbitant land prices and higher construction cost, further distant them from achiev-ing their life time dream of building their own house.

6.0  Upgrading of Urban Underserved Settlements & Regulari zation, Provision of Sanitation Facilities

According to the department of Census and statistics it is identi-fied there is a gap in urban areas in provision of urban sanitary requirements.
It is recorded out of 907,330 urban sector population still there are 22,605 using common latrines and 1,567 do not have toilet facilities at all. Therefore USDA has recognized the importance in provision of the sanitary facilities as a vital requirement to up-lift the living condition of these communities.
Under this programme it is subject to provide and improve the sanitary facilities through,

  • Provision of standard toilet facilities
  • Improvement of drainage facilities
  • Introducing the sewer treatment facilities for the urban settlements where necessary
  • Protecting watersheds and downstream areas associated with urban settlements

7.0  Urban Re-development Programme

The disposal of the lands liberated through the above rehousing process for urban redevelopment projects through a financing method is proposed through this programme. This process will generate some slice of finance for the rehousing programme. The land thereby released is mainly used for affordable and up-market residential and commercial constructions.
Financial return produced by the commercial development is reinvested for next development cycle. This is also a market driven process within the planning regulation of UDA.