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Adequate Housing – a Perpetual Challenge

Using the 5A approach

In this video, Alonso Ayala and Ellen Geurts describe the development and use of the 5A approach. The 5A’s refer to a set of 5 principles to use for the design, implementation, or evaluation of a housing policy to achieve adequate housing. The 5A’s stand for: Availability, Accessibility, Affordability, Acceptability, and Adaptability. The intention is that this combined set of principles provides both a practical approach and an evaluation tool to realise adequate housing in the context of achieving housing justice. The presenters have used this approach widely in both research and advisory work. 

Video Summary

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Dr Alonso Ayala Aleman

Assistant Professor

Department of Urban Socio-Spatial Development

IHS - Erasmus

Alonso Ayala is an architect and spatial planner specialized in the fields of affordable housing and human settlement planning in the Global South.  He is Head of the Department of Urban Socio-Spatial Development at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) and assistant professor at the Erasmus University School of Behavioral Sciences.  in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

With over twenty-five years of working experience, he has conducted post-graduate education, professional training, research and consultancy work in affordable and adequate housing in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. He has delivered world-wide tailored-made training and short courses in strategic planning, social housing and affordable and sustainable housing for vulnerable groups.

Alonso Ayala main research’s area of interest is the relationship between housing adequacy and housing justice through the application and analysis of the 5 A’s Principles of Adequate Housing: Availability, Accessibility, Affordability, Acceptability and Adaptability



Ellen Geurts, MSc


Department of Management in the Built Environment

TU Delft

Ellen Geurts is a lecturer at the faculty of Architecture at TU Delft where  she teaches courses on building economics at both the Bachelor and Master level. 

Additional Information

  • Ayala, A., Eerd, M. van and Geurts, E. (2019). Affordable, available, accessible and acceptable housing in African new towns. In: R. Keeton and M. Provoost (Eds.), (2019). To build a city in Africa : a history and a manual. Rotterdam: nai010 publishers, pp. 410-418.

  • [the 5A approach explained]

  • Ayala, A., Eerd, M. van and Geurts, E. (2019). The five principles of adequate housing. In: V. Bharne and S. Khandekar (Eds.), (2019). Affordable housing, inclusive cities. Navato: ORO Editions. pp. 94-99

  • [the 5A approach explained]

  • Ayala, A., Rabe, P and E. Geurts, 2014. Best Practices for Roma Integration Regional Report on Housing Legalization, Settlement Upgrading and Social Housing for Roma in the Western Balkans. OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Available at (June 2015):

  • [example of application of 5A approach in a consultancy]

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