TOKI Housing Model
Republic of Turkey, Prime Ministry,Housing Development Administration (TOKI)

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The population in Turkey, which was 56,47 million in 1990, is 79 million 814 thousand people as of year 2016. Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) data reveal that the population increased by 1 million 73 thousand people in the last year. Estimated country population for 2050 is about 93,5 million people. The most important change in the demography of Turkey is the urbanization rate. 75,8 percent of the population in 1927 used to live in rural areas (less than 10 thousand population) and 24,2 percent in urban areas, which ratios, however, has been reversed today. The rate of those resident in provincial and district centers in Turkey is 92.3% in 2016. %7.7 of the population is living in rural areas. The intensity of the population with an average age of 31 is 104 people/km2. The number of people per square kilometer shows an increase, although little, every year, and the share of population “at working age” in 15-64 years of age group has been measured as 68% in general. The main reason of the fast increase in urban population that accelerated in Turkey starting from 1960s is “migration”s. Today, a migration movement still continues from towns and small cities to metropolitan cities. Migration movements realized mostly for economic reasons until 1990s usually entail physical problems such as housing and substructure in metropolitans. This process surfaced the need to urgent accommodation of needy low-income groups in metropolitan cities and caused formation of slum areas. The rapid process in question has also caused serious problems in terms of water, sanitary system and health substructures in cities. Consequently, irregular spatial growth due to the need of housing acquisition in planned and habitable environments in metropolitan cities has become a priority issue. Turkey encountered various disaster occurrences from the past until today; and disasters due to natural incidents – particularly earthquake – had an apparent effect on it. In this context, the number of people losing their lives due to natural disasters within the last 70 years is approximately 100.000; and the number of damaged houses is about 600.000. This issue also brings out the housing problem in Turkey.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
*As Turkey needed a sustainable corporate solution for its housing problem and due to the Turkish Constitution declaring “housing” as an essential human right with its Articles 56 & 57 , The Mass Housing Law of Turkey passed in 1984 as a framework law, defining the fundamental principles, which give direction to the solution of the housing problem in Turkey, particularly on the subjects of organization and funding. The Law is provision of public supports to meet the housing requirements of the country and fulfilling of necessary service at the hand of an administration organized to this end. *Thus established, the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) has been effective in developing housing technology and housing finance in Turkey between 1984 and 2002, undertook production of a total of 43 thousand 145 houses and provided credit support for 940 thousand houses within 19 years. *In Turkey, very important steps have been taken since 2002 in order to produce solutions at national scale to problems regarding housing and urbanization and to ensure adequate and quality housing production at urban spaces. “Emergency Action Plan for Housing and Urbanization” announced with the 58th Government of Turkey Programme was adopted in “1 January 2003”, and the targets of “renewal”, “transformation” and “quality housing production” being set, TOKI was assigned the responsibility to implement the concerned plan. *As of February 2017; the number of houses started to be produced by TOKI is 767.383. Such right is included in Article 56 of Republic of Turkey Constitution as “Everybody has the right to live in a healthy and balanced environment”, and in Article 57 as “Our State shall take measures to meet the housing need within the framework of a plan to observe the characteristics and environmental condition of the cities”.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
In Turkey, a great expansion was achieved via various legal regulations and arrangements in public management made as of 2003 within the framework of TOKI’s field of duty and activity, starting a “planned urbanization and housing leap” so great for the first time in the history of Turkey. TOKİ is a non-profit government administration. The Administration reports directly to the Prime Minister’s Office rather than being part of the general administrative bureaucracy. It is subject to strong state control and supervision. TOKİ, with the models it has developed, functions as an umbrella rather than a competing body in the housing sector of Turkey in awareness of its responsibility as a guiding, supervising and educating organization and undertakes a significant role in production prioritizing the demands and solvency of the target masses in need. TOKI, within the framework of the activities it pursues; 1- Performs housing production and supply on its own lands raising itself the necessary financial resources required to ensure that low and medium-income groups, who are unable to purchase houses under market circumstances, become house owners with suitable monthly installments at long-term maturities in compliance with their saving patterns. 2- Urban renewal and transformation projects are developed for slum and excessively intense shanty settlement areas in cooperation with local managements in areas with a high risk of natural disasters and historical urban areas as well as urban areas whose economic lifetime is over. Renewal projects not only produce renovated housing areas; but also provide major recreation areas, city parks, city quarters, trade centers for the city. Social housing projects are realized under two main categories: 1. For low-income group families (poor groups) 2. For the narrow- and middle-income group families Sales prices of the units are set by TOKİ, by taking into consideration the cost of construction, social facilities, cost of infrastructure, cost of consultancy services and cost of land. The sales prices of the housing units produced for the poor citizens (low-income group) do not include the cost of land. Sales prices are determined without a profit purpose, in view of the saving patterns and monthly affordability of the target groups. The existing demand for houses produced by TOKİ far exceeds supply. Every citizen who does not own a house has a right to apply for social housing. However, in general workers and civil servants benefit most from these houses. The houses are distributed to the applicants via a lottery before a notary due to the fact that demand is very high. Since the property right is owned by TOKİ until the debt is over, the repayments of the projects are under guarantee. That is; TOKİ is acting as a ‘guarantor’ for the repayments of the project. The fact that the title deeds are not issued until full repayment of the debts minimizes the default of payment of installments. Indeed, the rate of non-payment is near to zero in the sales practices realized by the Administration. Banks pursue banking transactions in the name of the Administration in housing sales, and have no relationship of making available any commercial loan to buyers. In other words, TOKI projects are pursued completely different from the current housing loans, totally with TOKI funding under the control of Administration and function without commercial purpose. TOKI realizes housing production through private sector firms which are awarded construction tenders realized within the scope of Public Tender Law. TOKI takes over the lands it produces on from the Treasury, government entities, municipalities or people free of charge or at low prices. TOKI, with its housing production practices, aims to meet 5-10% of the housing need of Turkey, which currently has been realized as 9%. *As of February 2017; the number of houses started to be produced by TOKI is 767.383.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
TOKİ develops innovative models to implement government decisions regarding existing housing and settlement policies. The most important model is a financial model which is named as the “income (revenue) sharing model” which provides housings to high income groups. Through the method, TOKI raises funds for the housing projects of low and middle income groups. The model is based on housing production by TOKI on lands owned in metropolitan cities such as Istanbul, Ankara in collaboration with the private sector and on sharing the sales income with a private partner. This is a revenue sharing model and the concept is based on income rather than housing. TOKİ developed this model to close the gap between its short-term investment expenses and its long-term receivables. The receivables portfolio constituting the funds of the Administration consists of the profits earned via the model, the receivables from the sales of the social welfare housing projects, land sales and the returns of past housing loans. The Administration has a land portfolio growing with miscellaneous legal arrangements. TOKI continues its activities throughout Turkey by optimal utilization of the portfolio, which is a “unique” implementation in order to raise new financial resources for social housing.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
“Emergency Action Plan for Housing and Urbanization” announced with the 58th Government of Turkey Programme was adopted in “1 January 2003”, and the targets of “renewal”, “transformation” and “quality housing production” being set, TOKI was assigned the responsibility to implement the concerned plan. TOKI operates under a public policy mandate of the Turkish government and the strategic direction of the Prime Minister's office. Established by the Mass Housing Law with no. 2985 in 1984, TOKI is legally a public agency, with no share capital. Since the introduction of the Emergency Action Plan in 2003, tasks assigned to TOKI have expanded in line with its key role as the leading provider of housing and slum transformation projects in cooperation with local municipalities. Accordingly, the central government has increased to 1.2 million the target number of housing units to be built by TOKI by 2023. *As of February 2017; the number of houses started to be produced by TOKI is 767.383. Nearly 3 Million people (who are mostly low and middle incomed) benefitted from the projects of TOKI. Additionally, employment for 900 thousand people has been ensured, either directly or indirectly.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Mass Housing Law (Law No. 2985, on ’public housing’) is a framework law defining the fundamental principles, which give direction to the solution of the housing problem in Turkey. The Law also determines the tasks of the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ). TOKİ, which is one of the leader official institutions of Turkey in terms of dealing with housing and settlement issues, has acquired essential knowledge and experience on developing different finance models regarding housing production throughout its 32 year-activity period. For its mass housing projects produced on its own lands, TOKİ has the target group of low and middle-income families, who are not able to own a housing unit within the existing market conditions in Turkey. TOKİ has been effective in developing housing technology and housing finance in Turkey between 1984 and 2002, total of 43 thousand 145 houses were produced and credit support was provided for 940 thousand houses within 19 years. In 2001, Housing Development Fund was removed along with some other funds. On elimination of the Housing Development Fund, the articles regarding the incomes, expenditures, duties, authorities and responsibilities of the Administration included within the Housing Development Law have been re-regulated. With time, TOKİ has been affected by various legal arrangements; like in 2001 T. Emlak Bank’s assets and real estate unrelated to its banking operations are all transferred to TOKİ, within the framework of “housing production and planned urbanization” objective included in the Emergency Action Plan of the Government, tasks and liabilities of Urban Land Office were transferred to TOKİ and upon this ransfer, 64,5 million m2 land was passed into the ownership of TOKİ, on December 2004. A great expansion was achieved via various legal regulations and arrangements in public management made as of 2003 within the framework of TOKİ’s field of duty and activity, starting a “planned urbanization and housing leap” so great for the first time in the history of Turkey. In this context; 1. All activities of T. Emlak Bankası apart from banking upon its being closed down, 2. All duties of Housing Undersecretariat of Turkey after its being closed down, 3. The duties of Immigrant Houses Coordination Office Ahıska Turks Settlement Coordination Office, 4. All duties and responsibilities of National Land Office, upon its being closed down, 5. The duties of the abolished Ministry of Public Works and Settlements (Ministry of Environment and Urbanism)- Department of Dwelling Afairs, 6. The ongoing duties of the Prime Ministry Project Implementation Unit, after its being closed down; have been assigned to TOKİ. With these regulations, the duties and authorities of TOKİ have been increased with regard to housing production and decision making mechanism has been gathered under a single roof. The bureaucracy has also been diminished accelerating work flow, an efficient structure was formed towards problem solving and production. With these regulations, TOKI acquired a big land portfolio and has been assigned to finance its projects by developing new projects on these land using new & innovative financial models. (as Housing Development Fund was eliminated legally along with some other funds in 2001) The most important model is the financial model which is named as the “income (revenue) sharing model” which provides housings to high income groups. (which is explained above, in article 4)

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
TOKI is directly reporting to the Prime Ministry. The key stakeholders in TOKI projects are: • Public Sector: Prime Ministry & some Ministries (legal approvals and decision making process) • Local governments: Governorships, District Governorships and Municipalities (Decision making process, collecting demand for social housing, urban renewal projects’ implementations) • Private sector: Private contractors, consulting firms (constructions) & Public and private banks (only for the banking operations), real estate appraisal companies. • Affiliates of TOKI: TOKI, within the framework of the expansion in its activities, and the companies in the portfolio of the entities transferred to the Administration, pursues its activities along with its 7 affiliates. These affiliates offering service in the fields of project management, real estate marketing, undertaking, management services, real estate evaluation, restoration, finance, trade and counseling.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ), continues its activities to realize presentation of an adequate number of quality housing in healthy urban environment of the country. In line with the Turkish Government Programs and legal assignments, since the year 2002, TOKİ has been assigned to focus on developing mass housing projects for the middle and low income target groups, due to the existing demand for qualified and affordable houses in several regions. TOKİ, aims to meet 5% -10% of the housing need of Turkey, which currently has been realized as 9%. The social housing program of TOKİ targets mainly the low and middle-income people who cannot own a housing unit under the existing market conditions. Social housing program consist the projects targeting poor groups, low-income families, middle-income families and urban transformation projects, and additionally the housing projects under the title of disaster management and restructuring.(which we call disaster housing projects) (The other activities are mainly the “agricultural village projects”, “migrant dwellings”, “restoration of buildings of historical-cultural importance”, “cooperative credits, and housing credits for victims of war”) Since 2002; the number of houses started to be produced by TOKI is 767.383. 652.931 of the houses produced (85.66%) are SOCIAL type housing units. The number of sold houses is 614.833 & the number of delivered houses is 595.449. 5.664 tenders amounting to 85,56 Billion TL. has been finalized at construction and project stages. (See the supporting documents for details)

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
TOKİ aims fundamentally at producing solutions to the problems with regard to housing and urbanization in Turkey at national scale and naturally facing problems during the implementation stage. The basic obstacles are as follows: • Providing the beneficiaries of the urban renewal projects to be persuaded about the results and the advantages of the project. • Solving the property rights problems during the urban renewal procedure. • During the sales stages, controlling the banking operations via banks, relationship with the banks, managing all the procedure due to the Protocols signed with the Banks. (public banks) • Covering the problems caused by the current legal framework, relationship with the beneficiaries, answering their questions and solving their problems related with different stages of the project. • Managing the contracts signed with the contractors and the consulting firms. • Relations with the municipalities, controlling their responsibilities during the construction of substructure of the projects. Covering all the technical defects and being a facilitator of the whole construction as the owner of the project. TOKİ, with the models it has developed, functions as an umbrella rather than a competing body in the housing sector of Turkey in awareness of its responsibility as a guiding, supervising and educating organization and undertakes a significant role in production prioritizing the demands and solvency of the target masses in need. The medium-term (2016-2019) target of TOKI is to put 250 thousand houses to tender. Its target for 2016-2023 is to produce 500 thousand new houses with enhanced quality and characteristics.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
TOKİ model offers social housing to low- and middle-income group families in need in all provinces of Turkey and meets 9% of the housing need of Turkey by developing creative housing funding models. TOKİ is the only institution addressing to the “very poor” groups in our country and offering them housing via economic monthly installments without any down payment in a long maturity such as 25 years. In these social type housing projects, land cost has not been included to housing sale prices to reduce sales prices and thus to create significant opportunities for solution of the accommodation problem of people of the society who are truly in need. Furthermore, the handicapped, aged (retired without possession of a house), martyr families, disabled during war and duty and widows and orphans, which we consider disadvantageous groups, have been assigned special quota within the system. Housing implementations for the very poor involve 19,64% of the entire field of activity of TOKİ. As a matter of fact, the Administration also produces projects for middle-income groups, plays a pioneering role in the process of urban renewal, realizes production of disaster houses, conducts agricultural village practice, undertakes construction of not only housing but also all superstructure and social facilities in all of those projects, and produces solutions to the inadequacy of limited public resources by developing innovative housing production and finance models.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
YES. TOKİ model and the social type housing projects facilitate the efforts through the solution of the low and middle income families’ housing question in Turkey. This is essential as being a model of public sector as these projects have the public guarantee and credibility of a public administration behind them. All the same ,the basic development approach of TOKİ is not only constructing buildings/housing units but also formation of new settlement areas meeting the physical and social needs of their residents, through affordable terms of payments. Therefore, the constructed houses and social life areas are planned as spaces with transportation advantage and strong functional structures. That is, TOKI provides the disadvantaged groups in Turkey to reach safe, healthy, liveable sheltering conditions through the most affordable conditions. These conditions are “unique” in the existing market, designed especially for reaching the low income target groups: The beneficiaries of the social housing projects of make their down payments on the start of the constructions after the tender or at a certain stage (determined by the Administration) (no down-payment is collected in projects toward the poor), and continue monthly payments according to a single-indexed reimbursement plan. For the projects targeting the “low and middle income” the index is the public sector wage index (semiannual index calculated by the Ministry of Finance of Republic of Turkey). For the projects targeting the poor groups, monthly installments are increased (twice in a year) depending on the rate of increase for public sector wage index or Producer Price Index or Consumer Price Index (inflation indices announced by TurkStat), whichever is smaller (namely; variable single-indexed credit system). The maturities of the loan repayments of TOKİ are set as 8-20 years on average depending on the financial capabilities of the target groups. Implementations of the poor group houses are executed under the coordination of TOKİ and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies-General Directorate of Social Benefits and TOKİ undertakes construction of the houses in those projects. Applications and all following procedures are realized by the concerned social solidarity foundations. These projects seek the condition that the applicant him/herself, his/her spouse and the children under his/her custody have no real estate registered in his/her name with the land registry office. It is necessary that the applicants are not subject to the Social Security Organization. (In housing sales toward the poor groups, there is a condition of residence for the purchaser or his/her family until pay-off of the debt for the contracted house.) The applications, sales, repayment terms (debiting) and identifying beneficiaries related to the poor group houses are determined by General Directorate. These houses are delivered to poor citizens by the concerned of General Directorate. Model is also a good example of cooperation between different public bodies for providing sustainable public projects for vulnerable groups in the country.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
“Disadvantageous groups” are TOKI’s priority in social housing production. Social housing supply is made under the following main categories: For poor families & the low and middle-income group families. Low- and medium income families constitute the main target, and separate quotas are allocated for the handicapped, martyr families, the disabled and the pensioners.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Republic of Turkey, Prime Ministry,Housing Development Administration (TOKI)
Institution Type:   Public Authority  
Contact Person:   Şule Altaban Karabey
Title:   Expert  
Telephone/ Fax:   903125652276
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   altaban@toki.gov.tr  
Address:   Bilkent Plaza B1 Blok Bilkent Ankara Turkey
Postal Code:   06800
City:   Ankara
State/Province:   Çankaya
Country:  

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