A radical rethinking of Sri Lankan government policy resulted in it no longer seeing itself as a direct provider of housing, but rather as an enabler, helping and supporting poor people to provide their own housing through financial incentives and packages, as well as technical support. It recognised the latent skills and capacities of people and decentralised planning programming and implementation to the village level. As a result of this rethinking, the Million House Programme was established to provide affordable loans to low-income households in both urban and rural areas to help them build or improve their own homes. To minimise construction costs, the houses are built using traditional technologies and local building materials, including sun dried bricks, mud mortar for walls and foundations and jungle poles for roof timber.
National government, local community