The study examined the housing conditions of households in residential units within the Wa Municipality of Ghana. The study employed mainly interviews and focus group discussions, with questionnaire survey as a complementary technique, drawing on concepts of households’ demand for housing. The analysis suggests that households’ choice of living spaces is influenced by income, rent values, facilities available and nature of the residential area. Generally, households are faced with several inadequacies in housing services, with those in the older residential areas living in very precarious conditions. The unavailability of housing facilities, or their poor state, is as a result of the absence of public infrastructure including access to good roads, water and drainage systems, as well as non-compliance with municipal by-laws. The nature of the housing challenge facing the municipality calls for a move away from conventional ways of addressing the problem to new and innovative means of regulating the housing sector, particularly disentangling the production of housing units from the contribution of good, safe and secure living spaces and domestic/municipal infrastructure to the wider social processes of equitable urban development, notably the provision of adequate portable water, sanitation and waste management services.
Key words: Externalities, housing demand, insufficiencies, low-income households, urban Ghana.
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