The assets the poor own or have access to would form the basis from which improvement of poor people's settlements can be achieved. A key factor is mobilising the assets of the poor towards sustainable development of settlements, and creating a regulatory framework, which enables poor people's assets to be mobilised. Asset mapping, involving the poor, contributes significantly to poor people making greater use of their assets. Assessing and mitigating risk is also important. Inappropriate planning and building standards create greater risks for poor people, especially that these exclude poor people from conventional sources of credit and finance for improving housing.
Paper presented at the First RGUU International Workshop held at Bourton on Dunsmore, UK, May 17-18, 2001, 20 pp.