"This paper discusses an important and neglected variable in the selfhelp housing process - the effect of people's attitudes on self-help action. This is evaluated in the context of two separate housing schemes in South Africa. It has become apparent from this research that attitudes to a place or situation, tempered by the historical context, tend to mediate actions which are more usually seen as being circumscribed by social and economic circumstances. It is argued that a "willingness. to act" in a particular situation is as important as the possession of the resources and freedom necessary to take action."