Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 386

Full Length Research Paper

Perceived housing satisfaction in public estates of Osogbo, Nigeria

Akindele O. Akin
  • Akindele O. Akin
  • Department of urban and Regional planning, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Ojo Tosin
  • Ojo Tosin
  • Department of urban and Regional planning, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Abolade O
  • Abolade O
  • Department of urban and Regional planning, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 11 March 2014
  •  Accepted: 30 September 2014
  •  Published: 30 November 2014

 ABSTRACT

The study assesses residents’ housing satisfaction in public housing estates of Osogbo, Nigeria. Condition of housing, adequacy of housing facilities and residents’ perception of housing satisfaction in public estates in Osogbo were assessed. The study necessarily relied on both the primary and secondary data. Both qualitative and quantitative data were also used. Data were obtained from six (6) public housing estates in Osogbo. A structured questionnaire was administered on 312 household heads forming 30% of the sample frame; random-systematic sapling technique was used. Residents’ perception of satisfaction with their housing condition and neighbourhood quality were collated using Likhert scale ratings. Mean Weighted Values (MWV) were computed upon which comparisons were based. The study observed a general deficiency in infrastructural development. Almost all the estates lack basic facilities. Only one of the estates scored up to 50% of expected basic infrastructure benchmark. Laro, Oke Oniti and GRA housing estates with MWV of 0.54, 0.56 and 0.89 respectively fell short of 0.97 overall mean value measurement of residents’ satisfaction. Housing condition at GRA, Oroki and Laro Timilehin housing estates with MWV of 4.76, 3.91 and 3.92 respectively were a bit better than the overall assessment value of 3.90. The study therefore recommends urgent improvement of quality and provision of infrastructure through Public-Private Partnership Initiatives (PPP), resuscitation and/or creation of Estate Management Board and the use of local building materials so as to enhance efficient management, create employment opportunity and forestall the looming volatility of movement within and outside the housing estates. 

 

Key words: Housing satisfaction, public estates, housing policy, perception.


 INTRODUCTION

Increase in population and uncontrolled urbanisation are associated with increasing demand for housing, presenting communities with extraordinary challenges (Awotona, 1982b; Lee and Schwab, 2005; Lawanson, 2006; Akeju, 2007). Huge government investments have not produced appreciable easement in housing because the provisions were  grossly  below  the  quantitative  and qualitative housing needs of the nation (Ajakaiye and Fatokun, 2000; Ibem, 2010). Statistics recently show that occupancy ratio of houses in Nigeria is about 6 persons per room of 20m2; 60% of Nigerians are inadequately and/or indecently housed. Residential home ownership is less than 25% compared with 75% international benchmark.   Existing   housing   deficit  of  12-14 million housing units requires an estimated US$150-200M (World Bank Report, 2012).

However, the multifaceted importance of housing encapsulates in life’s basic necessities: shelter, physical and mental health, economic and social wellbeing (Mabogunje, 1975; UN–Habitat, 2006, Gilbertson et al., 2008). Housing provides security, privacy, neighbourhood and social relations, status, community facilities and services, access to jobs and control over the environment (Olotuah, 2006; FGN, 1962). Housing provision in Nigeria has been largely through private efforts of individuals and organisations. However, there have been state involvements through Federal Low Cost and other Housing Schemes which occasioned the construction of various mass housing estates, provision of site and services and other infrastructure in urban centres for all income groups among others. However, the public housing so far, have been badly maintained owing to poor implementation of National Housing Policy, inadequate funding, lack of continuity of projects upon change in government, the insecurity and abandonment of those projects (Hegedus and Mark, 1994; Jiboye, 2004; 2008).

Researches have shown that decades of direct government interventions in the housing sector, both locally and internationally, have not been able to solve the problems of insufficient and sub-standard housing (Awotona, 1990; Onibokun, 1990; Akinola, 1998; Olotuah, 2000; Ajanlekoko, 2001; Mabogunje, 2003). The assessment of housing needs by various governments in Nigeria has concentrated on the number of dwelling units needed, playing down on the importance of quality, users’ tastes and satisfaction, affordability and transfer process to the would-be buyer/residents. This results into failure to meeting the tastes of, and harnessing direct access to buyer/would be residents. Consequently, there were mismanagement, misuse and abandonment of the housing estates, thereby accelerating the rate at which existing structures are degenerating and dissatisfying (Olateju, 1992; Mabogunje, 2003).

Satisfaction in housing occurs when housing and neighbourhood situation is consistent with the cultural, family and community housing norms. This measures the difference between actual and desired households’ housing and neighbourhood situation (Galster, 1987; Galster and Hesser, 1981; Lu, 1999). Housing satisfaction thus, depends on residents’ judgement of their residential and neighbourhood situation. This indicates the absence of complaints and a high degree of agreement between actual and desired situations, and the meeting of residents’ daily needs for housing. On the contrary, incongruence between their actual and desired housing conditions may lead into dissatisfaction and abandonment (Lord and Rent, 1987).  

There is therefore much more to research, for instance, how far is public housing able to solve housing deficit in our cities despite huge investments? Does public housing meet the standards for the definition  and  is  it  affordable by the targeted social class? What factors are responsible for their location, distribution and sustainability? What measures can influence residents’ satisfaction of these provisions? These and sundry questions are the thesis of this study. To this end, the study assesses the residents’ housing satisfaction in public estates in Osogbo with a view to providing information about the present state, thereby suggesting ways of improving quality of public estates in Osogbo. This was done by examining the conditions of housing in public estates in Osogbo, assessing the adequacy of housing facilities in the estates, examining residents’ perception of housing satisfaction in the estates and making of relevant suggestions that may improve residents’ satisfaction in the estates.

Housing Satisfaction

The concept of housing satisfaction is multi layered. It defines the gap between respondents’ needs and aspirations concerning housing and the reality of the current residential context (Hui and Yu, 2009). However, the degree of contentment experienced by an individual or family is measured thereby given the prevailing housing situation. Other writers argued that housing satisfaction evaluates the perception of and feelings for the housing unit(s) of residents and the environment- a predictor on which individual’s perception of the quality of life can be measured (Onibokun, 1974; Campbell et al., 1976; McCray and Day, 1977, Galster, 1987; Ogu, 2002).

Ramdane and Abdullah (2000) display similar views on the concept of housing satisfaction based on their observation on past studies. Their modifications are of the opinion that the concept of housing satisfaction has been used for five major objectives:

i. It serves as a key to predict an individual’s perception on the overall quality of life.

ii. It serves as an indicator of individual mobility which later changes the demand on housing and influences surrounding area change.

iii. It is used as a specific measurement of private sector development success.

v. It serves as an evaluation tool to measure residents’ acceptance of prevailing shortcoming for existing surrounding area development.

vi. It acts as a variable in determining the relationship between the resident’s background and his attitude towards mobility.

Generally, owners are said to have a high satisfaction level towards housing compared to tenants and housing ownership gives a higher satisfaction to owners; not everybody can enjoy comfortable housing. It is only within the reach of those who can afford it. The rest are relegated to retiring in more affordable housing areas.


 METHODOLOGY

The study necessarily relied on both the primary and secondary data. Quantitative data were used. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used. Data were purposefully obtained from all the six (6) public housing estates in Osogbo, housing 10,400 residents. To measure housing satisfaction, a structured questionnaire investigating the perceived adequacy of basic housing facilities, ancillary housing neighbourhood facilities and the socio-environmental condition of housing was administered on 312 household heads; forming 30% of the sample frame; using random-systematic sapling technique. Residents’ perception of satisfaction with their housing condition and neighbourhood quality were collated using Likert scale ratings. Mean Weighted Values (MWV) reminiscent of resident satisfaction index were computed upon which comparisons were based. Analysis of variance was used to explain variation in the perceived housing condition within and among the public estates.


 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

Housing facility assessment

The indicators selected to measure housing facility in the study are presented in Table 1. They include: building type, number of persons per room, number of rooms per building, location of toilet and bathroom within building, kitchen location and water point sources to the building among others. It must be stated at this outset that sustainable electric power supply has always proven to contribute negatively in the qualitative assessment of housing in Nigeria. Very many houses has a stand-by generator (s) in varying sizes and wattage which contribute immensely to reduced environmental liveability for residents  both  locally  and  globally.  The issue of the use of electric power supply is the same in this study.

There are more bungalows (81.9%) observed in the public estates of Osogbo. There are 41.7% of the Brazilian type of bungalow and 40.4% of the flat system type. There are fewer duplexes (12.8%) and storey (5.1%) buildings. The housing connotation of this may be in two opposite directions when viewed against the background of quantitative and qualitative housing. The high incidence of lowest rise buildings against the low incidence of storey and duplexes is suggestive of housing shortage in the quantitative sense on the one hand. On the other hand, it presents with low density housing which is indicative of qualitative housing. This is corroborated by the fact that in the study, most of the room observed has a desirable room occupancy ratio of one person per room.

Nevertheless, just like any other area considered prime because of their proximity to jobs, city facilities, transportation and other services, sustainable environmental management is an imperative to keep the area in good shape. The houses are meant for low income earners and under normal circumstances are not supposed to be too expensive. There is a tendency the houses may become a succour to low income bracket members of the society and with the opportunity that Brazilian housing type offers, the place may become over-populated.

In the relative sense, there was observed a higher incidence (6.5% and 5.4%) of duplex at GRA and Oroki housing estates respectively compared to other housing estates. The reason was linked to the fact that both estates were the only low density residential areas in the study area. Majority of the respondents (93.2%) inhabited one person per room accommodation while the remaining (6.8%) resided in two-person per room accommodation. Only about 19.3% of the respondents resided in accommodation with more than 4 rooms whereas about 45.2, 25.4 and 10.1% of them lived in 4-rooms, 3-rooms and 2-rooms accommodation respectively across the study area.

The location of in-house facilities such as toilet, bath-room and kitchen was also observed and majority of the respondents (93.2%) had the facilities located indoor i.e. they were incorporated into the building so that it is not necessary that one comes out of the roof before using those facilities. The remaining 6.8% of the respondents had those facilities outside the building. This indicates a proper installation of basic facilities in the housing units. Very few of the respondents (2.6%) do not have direct access to any water point source but, get water from point sources in the neighbourhood whereas about 9.9, 15.7 and 71.8% of them had access to deep well, deep well with pumping machine and bore hole (Table 1).

 

 

Residents’ perception of condition of housing

Data regarding perception in this study were collected using the structured questionnaire in ordinal ranking form.

Respondents had to rank between: ‘very much satisfied’, ‘very satisfied’, ‘just satisfied’, ‘not satisfied’ and ‘not at all satisfied’. These ranks were allotted weights in descending order of the way they have been listed. In essence, ‘4’ was allotted to very much satisfied as the rank of highest value, and in that order, 3, 2, 1 and 0 were allotted to the rest four ranks. The choice of 4-0 in this scaling is based on the assumption that ‘not at all satisfied’ rank should not be presented as contributing to the positive assessment of housing condition. Each of the listed components of a building were variables assessed using this scale. It follows that, for each estate, the number of respondents multiplied by 4 is the maximum point achievable from each variable. This was used to standardize the weighing of the responses from the residents (Table 2). The total score for each variable, divided by the maximum point achievable multiplied by 100 becomes the standardized score for each variable. Since the answers will be different because of the difference in the individual mean of the variables, a mean average was computed for use as general mean for all the variables on the table. Thus, Residents Satisfaction Index is given by:

 

Analysis of variance was used to explain the difference both within and among the variable performance. It was observed that at 95% confidence level, there was no difference observed in the mean values of the condition of the housing components when they were compared with the mean average. In essence, the six public estates can be said to exude similar characteristics. However, relatively, some of the estates are performing better than the rest. For instance, the mean values of the housing condition in Oke Oniti, Owode, GRA, Oroki, Laro and Osogbo are 3.48, 3.39, 4.76, 3.91, 3.92 and 3.84 respectively. However, the overall average (mean) value of the considered building elements is 3.90 upon which comparison was based. From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that only GRA with mean value of 4.76 had a better housing condition, Oroki and Laro housing estates with mean values of 3.91 and 3.92 respectively were sharing a relatively good housing conditions compared with others in Osogbo. The reasons for their better score could be as a result of their location at low density residential zone(s) of (GRA) and at medium density residential zones as in Laro and Oroki). 

 

 

Housing infrastructures and facilities

Thirteen   common    facilities   were    used   to  measure resident’s perceived satisfaction of environmental facilities. Data were again collected in the ordinal ranking form. Computations and operations similar to the one in Table 2 were used. There was a supportive evidence in that residents’ satisfaction of their housing is influenced not only by the bricks and mortals of the buildings, but also by the social, behavioural and cultural factors within the socio-environmental system (Onibokun, 1974; Campbell et. al., 1976; McCray and Day, 1977, Galster, 1987 and Ogu, 2002) (Table 3).

 

 

Residents’ satisfaction  at  Laro,  Oke  Oniti,  and  GRA with mean value of 0.54, 0.56, and 0.89 respectively fell short of the overall mean value of 0.97 for the entire study area. By implication, provisions of infrastructure in the said estates were below the expected level of infrastructural provision in the entire estates. Consequently, responses from the respondents showed that people from those estates are willing to relocate if there is such opportunity or if there is a slight pull or push from an external influence. On the contrary, residents from Owode, Osogbo and Oroki with mean value of 1.22, 1.26 and 1.38  respectively  are  not  willing  to  relocate  given their level of satisfaction with their housing conditions.

One important lesson to be learnt in this study is that when people get used to a particular condition and they have no opportunity to experience another condition, they relish their experience as it is the best option they have and have to be satisfied with. Sometimes facility with the average performance would be rated the best because, when compared with similar facilities of poorer performance, it is still the best. From what is observable in this study, though, there is a lot of objective improvement to make houses in these public estates more habitable and to raise the satisfaction index, residents have introduced a lot of subjective biases to describing their dwellings which is the best they ever know. This emphasizes the need for competent advice from experts and stakeholders who hold the yardsticks for quantitative and qualitative housing assessment.

The standard for any residential estate should be one with an ideal population size, which relates to the provision of facilities, services, and the retention of identity as exemplified by the idea of the Neighbourhood concept by Perry (1910). This concept offers in concrete terms a model layout of a neighbourhood of a specified population size with specific prescriptions for the physical organisation of buildings, streets and ancillary facilities. Thus, the provision of infrastructure in any estate should not only be adequate, meeting residents’ needs, but also functional.

 

 


 RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUDING REMARKS

The study observed a perceived poor quality of infrastructure. For a quality and a satisfactory housing environment, Government and policy makers need to attend urgently to this. Government may not be able to take direct responsibility over private properties but improvement on facilities may be done. One way to achieve this may be through the public-private partnership, where and when private organizations play complementary roles with the government and vice versa, to achieve the provision and maintenance of basic facilities; and thereby promote housing satisfaction in Osogbo. This may enhance both qualitative and quantitative housing delivery.

With the growth of urbanization, the city may soon run out of housing stock thereby putting pressure on the existing stock. Government may encourage the production of cheaper and reliable indigenous building materials through incentives. It is believed that this would improve the ease of private development and increment of housing stock. With these in place, there would be improvement in housing delivery and housing satisfaction in our cities.


 CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

The author has not declared any conflict of interests.



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