The limits of land titling and home ownership

G Payne, A Durand-Lasserve, Carole Rakodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

136 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews whether land titling programmes have achieved the benefits claimed by their proponents. It finds that they have generally failed to do so. Investment in land and housing, access to formal credit, and municipal revenues have not increased noticeably more than under other tenure regimes, including those that allow many unauthorized settlements, and there is no significant evidence of poverty levels being reduced. Titling does provide increased tenure security - but many alternative forms of tenure, including those in many informal settlements, also provide high levels of security. In addition, in many nations, land titles do not necessarily protect people from eviction and expropriation of their land. Land titling often fails to increase access to credit, and low-income households who obtain titles are often as reluctant to take loans as banks are to lend to them. Titling also does not necessarily improve infrastructure and services provision, while many settlements have obtained improved provision without titles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-62
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • urban
  • titling
  • tenure security
  • tenure
  • land
  • land policy


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