Over the past two decades, the collective housing movement in Indonesia has been advocating for government housing policies. However, the government's approach in accommodating housing guarantees always leads to the construction of new housing which is considered to be able to resolve the housing crisis. Another perspective review needs to be done to identify the core problem. Housing backlog cannot be overcome only by accessing homeownership, but in terms of adequate housing, security of tenure is an important point that needs attention. After many years, this backlog problem is still a puzzle and requires special attention from various stakeholders. The government has begun directing the housing program in Indonesia to be a self-help product but still does not pay much attention to the contribution of the people and is more dependent on private developers. The latest National Government Program (1 million housing) allocates a large proportion of it to private development organizations (Real Estate Indonesia) and overrides community contributions through self-help housing.
One indicator of the success of the housing program in Indonesia is the availability of affordable housing for citizens without exception. The concept of self-sufficiency and community’s contribution to housing procurement needs to be pursued because housing issues are contextual and cannot be answered with only one approach. Therefore, the housing crisis should not only be approached by providing new houses with private developers as the main actors but to manage existing ones, including informal settlements along with its tenure security issues. Furthermore, existing settlements currently have social and economic networks that are the source of people's lives.
For decades, the Indonesian Community Architects Network (Arkom), Urban Poor Consortium (UPC), and RUJAK Center for Urban Studies (RCUS) have offered several alternative design concepts as part of efforts to resolve housing and informal settlement problems. The concept was prepared in a participatory manner and put forward the spirit of mutual cooperation (gotong royong) in the community. The experiences in Jakarta, Kendari, Makassar, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya and other cities form collective knowledge that can provide an 'other' picture related to housing and settlement problems in Indonesia. Some grassroots networks that have been formed such as the Urban Poor People's Network (JRMK) and the Kalijawi Community have been involved in collective housing advocacy with several "best practices," which have been generated through a collaboration with local governments.