It has been accepted that housing is a human right since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Such right is included in Article 56 of The Constitution of Republic of Turkey 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".
The Mass Housing Law (1984) passed to this end is 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 aim of the law is the provision of public support necessary to meet the housing requirements of our country and fulfilling of necessary service at the hand of an administration organized to this end.
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 defines the tasks of the Housing Development Administration of the Republic of Turkey (TOKI).
TOKI, which is one of the 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 35 year-activity period.
For its mass housing projects produced on its own lands, TOKI has the target group of low and middle-income families who cannot own housing under current market conditions.
The Administration 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, the Mass Housing Fund was abolished with some other existing funds. With the elimination of the Fund, the articles related to the revenues, expenditures, duties, authorities and responsibilities of the Administration included within the Mass Housing Law have been rearranged and it is provided to create its own financial resources. The principal revenues of the Administration consist of revenues from the sales and rents of houses, work places and land, repayments, budgetary allowance and the fees of departure to foreign countries and the share of services to be taken from the relevant institutions and organizations between 3-10% of the construction cost for the construction works on behalf of public institutions.
After November 2002, The Government of the Republic of Turkey has issued an Emergency Action Plan, which was planned to solve the social, economic and administrative problems of the country in parallel with the Government Program.
"The Emergency Action Plan for Housing and Urban Development" was passed on January 1, 2003, setting a five-year goal of 250,000 housing units to be built through renovation, transformation and production of quality housing, by the end of 2007. TOKI aimed to reach the target of starting the constructions of 500 thousand housing units (in cumulative) together with their social facilities by the end of 2011 and this target was reached in the first half of 2011.
TOKI has been affected by various legal regulations in time: In 2001, Emlak Bank's assets and real estate unrelated to its banking operations were all transferred to TOKI and within the framework of "the housing production and planned urbanization" objective included in the Emergency Action Plan of the Government, the tasks and liabilities of the National Land Office were transferred to TOKI. Upon this transfer, totally 64.5 million m2 land was passed into the ownership of TOKI on December 2004.
Within TOKI's tasks and duties, various legal arrangements carried out since 2003, for the first time in Turkey's history such a large diameter in a "planned urbanization and housing attack" was launched.
In this context;
- With the closure of Emlak Bank, all the activities other than banking;
- All duties of The Undersecretariat of Housing after its being closed down,
- The duties of Immigrant Houses Coordination Office Ahıska Turks Settlement Coordination Office,
- All duties and responsibilities of National Land Office, upon its being closed down,
- The duties of the abolished Ministry of Public Works and Settlements (Ministry of Environment and Urbanization)-Department of Dwelling Afairs,
- The ongoing duties of the Prime Ministry Project Implementation Unit, after its being closed down;
have been assigned to TOKI.
With these legal arrangements; the duties and powers of TOKI have been increased. At the same time, by reducing bureaucracy, workflow has been accelerated, a more effective structure for problem solving and production has been formed.
With the amendments made to the Turkish Constitution in July 2018, the "Presidential Governmental System" has been adopted in Turkey. Continuing its activities as a subsidiary of the Prime Ministry, TOKI is attached to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. (Pursuant to Decree Law No. 703 of 9 July 2018)
As of September 2019, the number of housing units in which TOKI started the production process in 3,724 construction sites in 81 provinces reached 847,954 and the number of social facilities reached 14,782.