Avoiding Jakarta

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The continual increase in demand for urban accommodation in Indonesia is not matched by adequate response. Rapid growth is thus observed in housing offered in the suburban areas of the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Area (GJMA) because of conceptual flaws in public housing and faulty policies that do not consider the preferences of low-income people (LIP). Data reveals LIP prefer to live in high-density informal settlements with poor conditions and without government assistance. This paper aims to examine how the inclinations of LIP affect the housing pathway, and to understand the housing trajectory preferred by this group. Methodologically, 400 open-ended, semi-structured questionnaires were distributed for this quantitative study conducted through a survey of LIP in the most densely populated area of the GJMA suburban areas of Jakarta. First, we identified five major factors that influence the housing preferences of LIP in the GJMA. These are: 1) proximity to place of work; 2) proximity to public facilities; 3) proximity to family or kin; 4) lack of other options; and 5) other unspecified reasons. The final results revealed that LIP chose homes outside urban Jakarta both because of economic incapability and because the city could not provide them with a suitable living environment. Our findings indicate LIP thus choose to live far from their places of work in order to fulfil the need for a proper living environment. The paper details how the housing preferences of the LIP in GJMA differ from what urban Jakarta offers.