The mediation of community participation in the delivery of low-cost housing.
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International debates in the field of development have redefined housing as sustainable housing. Thus, housing no long refers to the delivery of physical products. The introduction of the concept of sustainability has far reaching consequences for the delivery of housing, which now amounts to the creation of viable communities. Moreover, the delivery of housing now takes place within the context of a policy framework that is indicative of a complete reversal of past policies towards developmentally-oriented, integrated approaches aimed at bringing about the long term sustainability of a vibrant and organic civil society. Significantly, the conception of housing as a process prioritises community control of projects at the local level with the assistance of external role players. Unfortunately, this long awaited component of housing projects is often marred by capacity constraints on the part of beneficiary communities who cannot participate and lor negotiate with other stakeholders in the delivery of housing. Therefore, the level at which this investigation is focused is on the mediation of community participation by all the relevant stakeholders in order to unravel the influence that this has on the quality of the housing products that are received. In this respect, an inquiry into the concepts of participation is tested against a case study of a community involved in a housing project and concludes that community participation is indeed mediated by many role players and that their influence has a determining effect on the quality of the social and physical products received.