An Assessment Of Residential Housing Problem In The Urban Areas Of Nigeria (A Case Study Of Umuahia Urban)

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An Assessment Of Residential Housing Problem In The Urban Areas Of Nigeria (A Case Study Of Umuahia Urban)


While decent housing is important to every individual and nation, housing crisis remains one of the global problem and grave and rising challenges facing urban residents, particular in most developing countries. It has a profound influence on the health, efficiency social behaviour, satisfaction and general economic values of a society. Yet a great proportion of Nigeria population still lives in substandard and poor houses and in deplorable, unsanitary residential environment. Years ago, rapid urbanization and economic growth have compounded the problem of inadequate housing for the increasing population, urban growth has brought about all typical problems which follow rapid urban development and include housing shortage both quantitative and qualitative, slums, illegal settlement and squatting. This research attempt to show an assessment of residential housing problem in the urban area of Nigeria. The research used Umuahia, Abia State as a case study. The research seeks to examine residential housing stock. It will identify the nature of housing problems both in quantity and in quality. It will also examine government policies and programmes in the area of housing provision. Look at possible solutions aimed at solving the problems.

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Synopsis
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Problem statement
  • 1.3 Objective of study
  • 1.4 Scope of study
  • 1.5 Delineation of the study area
  • 1.6 Significant of the study
  • 1.7 Definition of terms
  • 1.8 Organization of study
  • 1.9 Limitation of the study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Economic growth and urbanization in Nigeria
  • 2.2 Nigeria’s housing problems
  • 2.3 Problems of property development
  • 2.4 Housing policies and programmes in Nigeria
  • 2.5 Economic and social background of Umuahia

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Population of study
  • 3.3 Sample size
  • 3.4 Sampling technique
  • 3.5 Sources of data
  • 3.6 Method of data collection

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

This analysis is a study of an assessment of residential housing problem in the urban areas of Nigeria using Umuahia Urban as a case study.

1.1 Background Of The Study

From time immemorial, the provision of housing has always giving man concern and worries, since home provides man with some level of comfort and relaxation. The desire and need for the provision of shelter can be traced to the early men who used the caves which provided him with shelter, a place for habitation, relaxation, protection and defence from external aggressions. Therefore, the provision of housing has been one of the basic requirements for human existence and very vital in the development and growth of any economy of a country. Hence, much effort are being directed towards the provision of decent and adequate housing for the populace.

The provision of decent and adequate housing has been faced with some difficulties which has resulted to the problem of shortage of residential houses leading to; high rent, high cost of building materials, high cost of construction, inadequate supply of amenities.

The revised draft national housing policy 2011 defines housing “ as the process of simultaneous production (building) to target prices of large number of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable residential buildings with secure tenure; on a continuous and permanent basis with adequate physical infrastructure, amenities and social services in a planned, healthy and livable environment to meet the basic and special needs of the population and reflecting their socio-economic cultural aspirations and preferences”. Decent housing affords man privacy, protection, prestige and dignity. Yet this basic needs eludes a high proportion of the population of this country despite man’s technological advancement.

The history of man battling for a good living has been persistence most especially in the housing sector. In Nigeria, housing problems are enormous and complex, showing apparent and marked regional differences in most urban countries. The problem of housing in our urban centres is not only restricted to the quantity of housing stock, but also to the quality of available housing units, infrastructure and the environment. The result is manifested in growing overcrowding in homes, neighborhoods, communities and increasing pressure on infrastructural facilities such as roads, drainages, power supply, etc, and rapidly deteriorating environment.

The provision of housing in a giving area may be linked with specific polices which includes the free market approach where people are expected to participate in the building of houses for themselves as well as the government through construction of housing estate at a subsidized rate.

This housing problem is world wide and it is of a recurring nature. In fact it is doubtful if any nation of the world can satisfactorily meet its housing requirements.

The study area “UMUAHIA” has a mixed population, predominantly civil savants. With increasing administrative, commercial and industrial activities, people from all works of life are attracted to the area resulting to high population density. Again, the sitting of institutions like Trinity Theological College, National Root Crops Research institute, etc in the centre of the town has added to the population as well as increase in the demand for residential accommodation. It is a fact that demand has out weighed supply leading to increase in house rent and over usage of available facilities. Similarly, the use of some accommodation meant to residences as offices and shops goes to heighten the problem.

This research therefore is intended to examine the existing houses in Umuahia in order to identify the nature of the housing problems both quantitative and qualitative. This will enable the government to pursue appropriate policies that will aid in alleviating the housing problems of urbanities. Who in Umuahia are mostly civil savants whose income are not enough to build their own houses.

1.2 Problem Statement

Right from the existence of man on large planet earth, the need and struggle for adequate and decent accommodation has always posed a problem. The concentration of population in the urban areas has made the supply of housing inadequate to the demand facing it. Therefore, the shortage of housing supply in the study area has been a serious issue to the urban dwellers. This can be seen where more than eight (8) family members share a single room regulating in overcrowding in home, neighborhoods and increasing pressure on infrastructural facilities such as drainage, power supply, etc, and rapidly deteriorating environment. It is on the basis of this, that this research is being carried out so as to address the issue.

This research is intended to provide answers to the following questions

  1. What are the nature of housing problem in Umuahia urban?
  2. To what extent have these causes and problems affected the urban areas of Umuahia capital?
  3. The contribution of the government in term of policies toward meeting housing demand in the area.

1.3 Objective Of Study

Having observed that people and mostly civil servants in Umuahia are faced with residential housing problems. The objectives of this paper, therefore, are:

  1. To examine the existing residential housing stock in Umuahia.
  2. To identify the problem associated with residential houses in Umuahia.
  3. To examine the existing housing policies in Nigeria toward solving the housing problems.
  4. To examine possible solution at solving these problems.

1.4 Scope Of Study

This study is based on the assessment of residential housing problem in Nigeria using Umuahia, Abia State as a case study. It will be based on taking critical study on the existing housing stock, the nature of housing problem both quantitative and qualitative. The study will also examine government policies and programmes in the area of housing provision. Furthermore, it will suggest possible ways to solve the problems.

1.5 Delineation Of The Study Area

Umuahia is the capital of Abia state, Nigeria. Umuahia city is a town locate within Ibeku. The city of Umuahia as it is now is made up of Ibeku villages called Amuzukwu to the north, Afara to the south, Nkata to the north east, Ohokobe Ndume to the south east, then Osaah and Ugwunchara and Emede village to the west.

Umuahia is located on top of a foot hill that is a part of the Cameroon mountain range that sloped into Imo River. The hills flattens as it passes Ubakala to become one of the even graded paces in the Eastern Part of Nigeria to the edge of Atlantic Ocean at Port Harcourt. The city of Umuahia has expanded a lot into the surrounded villages and many have found themselves in the middle of the crossroads heading in and out of the city. Umuahia is surrounded by other big villages like Olokoro, Ubakala, Old Umuahia, Umuokpara, Ohuhu, Oboro, Abam, Item, Uzuakoli.

This research Centres on Umuahia urban which comprises Amuzukwu, Umueze, Osaah, Umuagu, Afara and Ndume. Map 1 and 2 will assist in locating Umuahia Urban. Map 1 is the map of Nigeria identifying Abia state, and Map 2 is the map of Abia state identifying Umuahia north(study area).

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The important of this case study lies in the fact that it examine the residential housing problem in Umuahia urban both quantitative and qualitative. The study will aid to examine the responses of government in trying to meet the housing demand in the study area.

1.7 Definition Of Terms

This section of the research is meant to define some of those terms that appeared in the topic in order to remove any ambiguity in the understanding of the research.


According to Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary, assessment is an opinion or a judgment about something that has been thought about very carefully.


A house is a place which provides shelter, refuge, comfort, security, and dignity (Onibokun, 1983).

Urban Area

According to wikipedia (2011), an urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it.


This express the growth of towns at the expense of the countryside; it is a measure of the shift of population from one to the other (Maurice Umeakuka, 2004).

1.8 Organization Of Study

The research work is divided into five chapters.

  • Chapter one is the introduction chapter which consist of Background, problem statement, objectives of study, among others.
  • Chapter two follows with review of literature relevant to the work.
  • Chapter three is based on research methodology.
  • Chapter four is where data obtained in the survey are analyzed and interpreted.
  • Chapter five habours summary of the findings as well as conclusion drawn and recommendations made.

1.9 Limitation Of The Study

In carrying out this research, several problems were encountered which include the problem of covering the study areas due to urban size. Other limitation include time and energy consuming especially when the residential occupants were absent leading to repeated visitation to the place.

Despite the constraint, efforts were made in all ramifications to ensure that the aims and objectives of this research were achieved.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

In this chapter the researcher presents his summary of findings, conclusion based on the findings and makes possible suggestions to improve housing situation in the study area.

5.1 Summary of Findings

The findings of this study are summarized are listed below.

  1. That Umuahia urban in made up of civil servants, Traders and people from other works of life.
  2. There are limited numbers of bedrooms for people living in the tenement buildings, hence, the grater percentage of the population are living in tenement buildings which has resulted in overcrowding and easy deterioration of the building.
  3. Shortage of residential houses has led to a situation where there are more number of people in a room than it should accommodate and this gives a good picture of residential housing problem in Umuahia urban.
  4. Facilities required in buildings are not adequately provided mostly in tenements buildings resulting to overstretch of the available ones provided.
  5. There are no good maintenance programmes for residential houses in Umuahia Urban; this is evident in tenement buildings. Again, quacks and charlatan who are not versed in the field of estate management do more harm to buildings resulting to deterioration, dilapidation and total obsolescence of the building.
  6. Inconsistency in government policies and programmes, including frequent changes of policies with changes of government and without proper assessment of the existing ones.
  7. High cost of building materials for example, a recent survey has shown that a 50kg bag of cement has risen from #650 in the year 2000 to about #1,650 today.

5.2 Conclusion

Housing is an economic activity with an inherent multiplier effects. Once the housing sector is buoyant, it would positively rub on other sectors of the economy, be it finance, building materials, employment, real estate, and land transactions, among others. The government can accomplish a lot in the housing sector through concerted effort and adequate funding. Due to the importance of housing to man, the government have decided to intervene directly and participate actively in the provision of housing. However, while the records of government interventions in the housing sector in Nigeria look quite impressive, policies are rarely implemented or haphazardly implemented. In other words, Nigeria seems to be long on policy, but very short on implementation.

5.3 Recommendation

The research work has attempted to highlight the problems as applicable to residential housing in urban area using Umuahia as the study area. It is not the least the least exhaustive but a certain part has been established.

Therefore, the researcher feels comfortable to align with some of the recommendation of the data collected as it were.

  1. That there must be put in place a workable due process that will go beyond paper work and propaganda.
  2. That the Land Use Act be revisited to stem the hurdles in land and mortgage transactions.
  3. The government should adopt and vigorously pursue a housing delivery strategy that is, ‘end-users driven’ and through the use of co-operatives, development agents, and Public Private Sector Participation (PPP). Furthermore, since most housing delivery projects are long-term investments and capital intensive, financial institutions should be encouraged to finance some of these projects.
  4. Building materials are believed to constitute about 55% to 65% of total cost of construction input. To achieve sustainable housing development in Umuahia in particular and Nigeria in general, housing developers should shift from over-dependency on imported materials to the use of local materials, such as walls, roofing, and floor materials that are affordable and durable.
  5. Government should have another look at its policies and programmes to find out its shortfalls, because most of the policies and programmes implemented in the past towards solving housing problem yielded little or no good result. They should try and fight against all corrupt practices by its staff who most of the time has dragged set plans backwards and many projects uncompleted.
  6. There are at least five powerful factors involved in the residential housing problem and which are, no doubt, beyond and individual’s control, namely, population growth, rapid urbanization, natural disasters, political upheaval, and persistent poverty (Awake, 2005; Agbola, T. (1998). Mabogunje, 2002).

These factors, among others, must be adequately addressed by the government if appreciable progress is to be made in its quest for providing good residential housing for all.

Finally, if all these recommendations put forward are strictly implemented the researcher is very optimistic that residential housing problems in Umuahia urban (Abia state) in particular and Nigeria in general will soon be a thing of the past.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Nigerians dissatisfied with public housing?

This study assessed residential satisfaction in public housing provided using four different strategies in Ogun State, Nigeria. The respondents were generally dissatisfied with their housing conditions due to poor access to basic social amenities.

Is Ogun State an ideal state for residential satisfaction research?

Therefore, in the Nigerian context, Ogun State is considered to be ideally suited for the current research, which among other things compared residential satisfaction across the different housing delivery strategies.

How many people are dissatisfied with their current housing situation?

The result shows that a large proportion (60%) of the respondents were dissatisfied with their residential environment, followed by 36% who were satisfied and very few (4%) who were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their current housing situation. 

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