"The paper summarizes the housing approaches pursued and their effects in the Pacific Region in the last two decades. The focus of the study is Papua New Guinea which is regarded as a country having enlightened housing policies. The paper reviews the 1973 "White Paper" on housing and evaluates the different activities of the government in trying to solve the "housing problem" since independence in 1975. The author's survey in two major urban settlements in Papua New Guinea shows that squatter settlements are centres of problems as well as opportunities. It is the "opportunity" side of the squatter housing that largely remains dormant and often ignored and thus housing is seen as a "problem". This view needs to change if we are going to be effective in meeting housing needs of the poor in the years to come."