Explaining the Housing Defecit in Saint Lucia



Housing is considered one of the most basic human rights and an essential component of the

right to an adequate standard of living. Meen (2005) asserts that housing is the largest component

of personal wealth and has a significant impact on spending power.A lack of adequate housing

not only compromises development, but eventually also constitutes a security threat from the

myriad of social ills that arise from poor housing or homelessness.


At the end of May 2010, the stock of housing in Saint Lucia stood at an estimated 58,891 from

47,541 in 2001 representing an increase of 23.9 percent or 11,350 during this intercensal period.

Over that same period, the population grew by 7.4 percent from 157, 774 in 2001 to 165,200 in

2010 representing an increase of 11,494 persons. Similarly, the average size of the household has

declined significantly over this period moving from 3.3 persons in 2001 to 2.8 persons in 2010.


Between 2010 and 2014, the population has grown by an additional 6,097 persons and at the end

of June 2014, the national housing needs assessment report (2014) estimates that the housing

deficit was 40 percent or 11,400 housing units. This report also indicated that 62.7 percent of

households did not have one bedroom to each pair of children under the age of 10 years. However, 51 percent of the homes interviewed did not have additional bedrooms for adult

household members.



These two reports may suggest that while there may have been an adequate number of houses

being built between 2001 to 2010, the size of the house in terms of the number of rooms may not

have been adequate. It is also possible that the number of houses constructed during 2001 and

2010 may not have been adequate to correct the household deficit which existed prior to the

census year 2001.


This research paper aims to assess the contributing factors to the aforementioned housing deficit

and overcrowding with a view to providing policy recommendations which may ameliorate these

issues. Data from existing housing reports provide starting points for this analyses.


This paper is arranged as follows:

1. Review of policies regarding housing in Saint Lucia.

2. A review of public sector housing interventions

3. Factors affecting the demand and supply for housing

4. Summary of Findings

5. Recommendations 

2.0 Literature Review There is a myriad of studies, mostly surveys conducted on housing demand and hous ing needs in Saint Lucia. In 2007 the government of Saint Lucia developed and approved a National Land Policy to guide the use, management, development and administration of land resources...[Download full report]