Since the first implementation of the Agrarian and Land Reform Act in Burkina Faso in 1984, urban development and housing policies have been important in the economic development strategies of the country and significant projects and programs have been enacted in the aim to improve households living in urban and rural settlements. Although the urbanization rate is one of the lowest in Africa, the country is experiencing a continual urban growth: From an urbanization rate of 12.7%in 1985, this rate is estimated to be at 31.5%in 2016. Furthermore, this urban growth is fundamentally demographic due the relatively high rate of population growth and the constantly increasing rural-urban migration. The lack of urban planning, infrastructure and convenient housing supply are among the most challenging issues in Burkina Faso urban development.

The country experience in urban land use shows that in the 1950-2012 period 716,960 plots were produced, which cover 55,771 hectares for settlements and 19,463 hectares for urban roads. A comparison of the number of households in 2013 and the number of residential plots shows that there is a surplus of 57,133 units of plots, however, there are some disparities between the cities at the same time at the country level. Despite land allotment for housing production has been completed in cities, the government efforts in terms of investments in relevant infrastructure are utterly insufficient. Furthermore, a housing policy seemed to be inexistent in the country for long time: around 90% of houses are built by the owners without using a mortgage system and almost 4/5 of the existing housing supply do not have a legal proof or titles deeds. These issues and the squatting phenomenon common in the cities are interrelated with the real estate market, which is still embryonic in the country. The new housing program, in the scope of which the government is forecasting to build 40,000 houses units during the period 2016-2020 in all regions of the country through public-private partnership, is an opportunity to make up for lost time in the framework of the government’s housing policy responsibility. The aim of this study is to analyze the urban development and housing issues in Burkina Faso using national and international data within the framework of historical and current situation analysis.