Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Appraisal of the Sufficiency of Habitable Housing to the Urban Poor in Lagos State

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Appraisal of the Sufficiency of Habitable Housing to the Urban Poor in Lagos State

Article excerpt


The importance of decent housing has been well recognized, articulated and elucidated in the literature, yet a great proportion of the urban poor in Nigeria especially in Lagos State still live in substandard and poor houses and in deplorable environments. The need to provide adequate shelter for all as well as the important of human settlement is therefore critical to the achievement of sustainable urban growth and cities development. This paper examines the sufficiency of habitable housing among the urban poor in Lagos State. An overview of strategies towards ensuring adequate housing was also examined. The study was carried out with the aid of well structured questionnaire to elicit required information from the respondents in the study area, building and facility survey using random sampling techniques. Findings from the study revealed the insufficiency of habitable housing among the urban poor. Recommendations were proffered to guide the policy makers towards enhancing the lives of the residents of the area. Some of these include upgrading programme through the provision of urban basic services and improved sanitation strategies for sustainable management of the area, government to realistically estimate the quantitative housing needs of the people and their multi-dimensional nature taken into consideration. This research provides empirical information on housing conditions and infrastructural facilities available to the urban poor in Lagos State with a view to improve their quality of life and better the environment.

Keywords: habitable housing, environment, urban poor, appraisal, sufficiency.


Housing is a basic human need in all societies and fundamental right of every individual. Unlike developing countries, habitable housing is more accessible to all categories of people including the poor and the needy in advanced countries as a result of subsidies from the government. Although studies here shown that the problem of housing is universal, it is however more critical in less developed countries Olotuah and Bodadoye (2009).

The situation is worsened in the urban suburb areas like Lagos suburbs, which has resulted into various categories of societal vices and crimes. In Nigeria, Lagos is obviously the most urbanized city with a registered annual growth of about 15%, the population of Lagos doubles almost every ten years while nationwide the annual urban growth is estimated to be between 6-10% (Taylor, 2000). This may be attributable to the combined effect of natural population increase and that occasioned by the process of rural-urban migration. The consequences of heavy influx of migrants into the cities have had severe effect in such areas as employment, housing, health, transportation and education. The urban poor are those considered poor in all respects, but live in secluded areas of the urban city. These classes of people exist at the outskirt of every city in Nigeria. At large proportion of them still lives in sub-standard (majorly self-made temporary structures), overcrowded housing and in deplorable and unsanitary residential environment known as slums and squatter settlements Diogu (2002). They lack basic amenities that constitute, elements of an habitable housing.

According to UN (2005) and World Bank (2008) report more than half of the world's population now lives in urban areas, and by the year 2050, 70 percent will be city dwellers with cities and towns in Asia and Africa registering the biggest growth. The present situation in Lagos now is in line with this report. Lagos State rapid urbanization and population growth of all categories have not been matched with increase in housing construction and therefore, there is a colossal quantitative and qualitative shortage of housing units in the state especially for the poor. The effects and problems emanating from these population increases have undoubtedly constitute critical challenges to sustainable housing and urban development. …

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