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Housing is one of the 3 most significant in the sustainability of human

existence with considerable economic, social, cultural and personal

importance. The production of housing is has been influenced largely by

policies, innovation and the ability to sustain the environment.

Housing encompasses all social services and utilities that make life

meaningful and the environment habitable. The problems that affect readily

housing delivery in Nigeria are enormous and very complex. These

problems in most of our urban cities in Nigeria encompasses the availability

of housing units both in quality and the number available which in turn has

resulted into congested homes and community and the resultant of this is the

ever increasing pressure on the infrastructural facilities which will rapidly


The situation in the rural area is even worse where the quality of

housing is very poor and very low in quantity. Infrastructure like power,

roads, water, drainage and every other constituent of housing is readily


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In Nigeria today, over 7 out of every 10 people live below the

minimum poverty level and 9 of every 10 are in the low income group

therefore these people cannot provide housing for themselves; they then are

rendered homeless or live in poor housing.

The government had in place various policies as regarding housing

delivery to the public but poor implementation has made it impossible to

meet up with the 12-14 million housing units needed ( Balogun, 2007 ).


It has been observed that majority of the people are living in poor housing

or totally homeless even in urban centre to talk of the rural areas where the

housing there is generally poor and very low in quantity despite all

governmental policies to provide housing to the public.


The aim of this research is to find out the problems hindering the delivery of

housing in Nigeria, its effects and profer solutions.

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-To identify problem hindering housing delivery

-To the different housing policies analyzed

-To itemize the effect of the problems inadequate housing delivery

-To proffer solutions to these problems


The data used for the purpose of this research is gotten from journals, books,

past project works, analytical discussion with estate surveyors and valuers

and seminar papers.


The limitations encountered while this research was time constraint,

withholding of information for security reasons and the usual Nigerian factor

of bribery before getting information.

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The oxford advanced dictionary defines house as “a building made for

people to live in usually for one family or a family and lodgers {guest}

{Hornby et al 1984}. Technically, a house can be defined as a building or

structural edifice comprising of walls with foundation, floors, roofs e.t.c. in

which man lives thereby sheltering himself from the harsh effects of

weather, wild animals and the element.

Houses are for different uses but the most common ones are,

i residential ii commercial iii industrial iv institutional v recreational

A house is basically built on a piece of land commonly known as a

plot. With respect to size of the plot and the planning regulations of the area

the building is located, houses generally have spaces around them and this

spaces include (I) set backs (ii) space around the building (iii) parking lot

(iv) flower gardens and (v) undeveloped parcels of land.

Most of these spaces are usually utilized as green belts or area flower garden

or buffer belts shielding noise from one house to the other.

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The most common type of houses are (i). bungalow (ii). Storey-houses (iii)

Block of flats (iv) multi-storey houses (v) multi-tenement houses

(vi) mud houses (vi) terraced houses.


Housing is a word that is common to many societies but most widely

misunderstood especially its technical definition or meaning. Housing is

therefore viewed not only is a matter of shelter together with its supporting

infrastructures but more comprehensively as an evolutionary and

participating process is a complex system of interactions between

institutions and residents which give shape to human settlements.

Breaking it down Housing comprises more than four walls and a roof, it also

includes supporting infrastructure such as water supply, electric power

roads, shopping facilities, recreational facilities, a good and enabling

environment. Further more, institutions such as the housing corporations,

mortgage financial institutions, developers, estate agents, buyers and sellers

all make up the housing industry.

Housing affects all individual in any society including the homeless and the

destitute. Housing can also be described as accommodation with all the

necessary ancillary services with it.

oresegun adedapo tolulope Page 6 IMPORTANCE OF HOUSING

The importance of housing to man can never be over emphasized but a few

of the importance of housing will be discussed under the following headings,

I. Provision of shelter / accommodation: the provision of shelter goes

beyond the provision of a place for man to rest his head, it goes as far

as provision of safety and security from sunshine, rain and other harsh

weather condition. Further more, it protects man wild animals and

their attacks.

II. Investment which yields a flow of income: one of the major reasons

why people build houses is to generate income and even make profit

from the house when constructed. As a result of this, they plunge into

construction of houses which are let out to tenants who in turn pay rents

monthly, annually or otherwise as agreed with the landlord. For

example a man who owns a block of ten flats with a monthly rent of

#6,000 monthly per flat, such man will be making precisely #60,000

monthly as rent or #720,000 annually. This is indeed real flow of


III. Source of social prestige: in some communities one of the yardstick

of assessing an individual’s achievement is whether he has built a house

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of his own or not. Any individual who has not attained this status may

not be taken serious within this society of people; this is because

anyone who owns a house of his own is conferred some social prestige

to belong to the class of landlords.

IV. Provision of employment: the construction of a houses provides

employment for several categories of people whether professionals or

artisans. Right from the purchase of the land; the land surveyor is

employed to provide the survey plan, then the architect is employed to

design the structure; the town planner approves the building drawing;

the quantity surveyor provides the bill of quantities and then the builder

builds the house. At the completion of the project, the estate surveyor

takes over the building to let it out to the would be tenants. During the

construction process, artisans like bricklayer, iron benders, carpenter,

plumbers, electrician, e.t.c. are gainfully employed.

V. Provides collateral security for loan: all around the world one of the

lending terms for loan taking in banks is the provision of collateral

security to the loan amount desired. One of the reasons why the house

meet up this security is because it has a high value when ever it is

offered for sale. Also, a house is durable, static, appreciates in value

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over time, capable of generating income and always in high demand,

therefore ownership of a house automatically provides the owner a form

of collateral security anytime he desire to apply for a loan.

VI. Durable good which can be inherited: a house is a durable good

which can last up to 100 years which means that housing can be

transferred from one person to another such as from father to son as a

sort of inheritance.

VII. Housing contributes to a physical development: the building and

their accompanying infrastructure is one single factor that contributes

largely to the development of town and cities. There are no settlement

without houses or buildings. There cannot be meaningful physical

development in any place without the construction of houses and roads.

Apart from the aesthetic of beauty of housing estates, they constitute a

significant percentage of physical development of such cities.


A need is a requirement or something felt to be necessary. It also connotes a

want or lack in which case when there is a need for something, it implies

that, that thing is in lack and therefore wanted. It can also mean something

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that is very necessary, very much required in order to fill up some gap or


Applying this idea of need to housing, we can explain housing need to mean

the minimum shelter or accommodation required to meet the basic minimum

requirement of a family or an individual.

Viewed on a general sense, housing needs relate to standards of

accommodation, deemed acceptable by society. Housing need is fairly

difficult to measure precisely due to the fact that the range and degree of

needs varies considerably. However, a minimum standard of housing is

necessary for a household to meet its physiological and psychological

requirements can be taken as Housing needs.

Many people in Nigeria are homeless including destitute who roam about the

street of urban centers and sleep in the markets and fly over bridges at nights

in cities such as Lagos. Such phenomenon readily exposes the inadequacies

of housing accommodation hence, more housing is needed. It is only a good

estimation of housing need in a given society that can lead to a lasting

solution of housing delivery.


A housing market is a market where housing goods and service are sold and

bought by virtue of their being demanded and supplied.

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Housing market may not necessarily be public buildings or open spaces

like common market. Nevertheless, housing markets are dotted allover a

nations landscape. It is like a system or an industry. Those who trade in the

housing markets know where and how to locate themselves in order to buy

and sell housing goods and services.

Rapkin et al {1982} described a housing market area as the physical area in

which all dwelling units are linked together in a chain of substitution,

where each can be considered as a substitute of the other.

Thus by this definition, we can identify several housing markets in Nigeria.


Housing quality describes the state, nature or standard of housing with

respect to acceptable standards. Thus a good quality housing implies a level

of housing which has no less than the minimum of factors of which the most

important is income.

The level of income is one of crucial factors that determine the type and

quality of housing a household obtains in any given market. This

observation is on the part of the consumer of the housing good and services

and it is true of the Nigerian housing market which is operated essentially on

the principles of free market enterprise.

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Housing finance literally means finance for housing or real estate

development. However, it means more than that, it also means or includes

the source of the finance, the management of the finance and all various

operations on the source, management, procurement and utilization as well

as repayment of such finance. Housing finance equally means the same thing

as mortgage finance except that while housing finance is a general term en-

compassing all the transactions in the housing market, mortgage finance can

be applied to single or individual housing financial transaction. SOURCES OF HOUSING FINANCE

There are two (2) major sources of housing finance which are the public and

private sources. This is shown below in the diagram.

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FIG. 1: Illustrating the various types and sub-types of housing finance


Breaking this diagram down there are some housing finance sources that

falls into these groups.

(a). public sources

i. Federal Government Staff Loan Scheme

ii. Federal Mortgage Bank

iii. Federal Housing Authority

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iv. State Government Staff Housing Loan Scheme

v. State Government Housing\ Property Development Corporations

vi. State Governments Home Ownership Companies

vii. State Government Mortgage Banks

viii. Local Government Staff Housing Loan Scheme

ix. National Provident Fund

x. State Savings and Loan Scheme

(b). private sources. These can be sub divided into 2 viz private formal and

private informal.

1. private formal sources

i. Primary Mortgage Banks

ii. Commercial Banks

iii. Merchant Banks

iv. Development Banks

v. Financial and Investment Companies

vi. Insurance Companies

vii. Trust Funds

viii. Co-operative and Thrift societies

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2. private informal sources

i. Esusu system

ii. Thrift system

iii. Co-operatives

iv. Friends

v. Family\ relatives

vi. Personal savings

vii. Money lenders

viii. Other sources


Housing policy is written document which is usually comprises specific

objectives, strategies and programs aimed at solving the housing problems or

meeting with the ever-increasing housing needs and demands of a country.

{Ezenagu, 1990}

Housing policy should contain the government’s views, policy objectives,

strategies and programs all aimed at solving the housing problems of a

particular country.

Housing policies usually go together with housing programs. Housing

policies are like principles while housing programs are like practice. Again,

it can said that housing policies are like theories while programs are like
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practical; both of which are aimed at solving various housing problems

bedeviling a particular country or society.

Below is a list of some housing programs initiated in Nigeria at one time or

the other.

i. The public \mass housing programs of the third national

development plan period (1975-1980).

ii. The public \mass housing program of the fourth national

development plan period (1985-1985).

iii. The public housing program of the Lagos state government

during the defunct second republic (1978-1983) spearheaded

by Lateef Jakande.

iv. Lagos state housing program fronted by Lagos state

development program corporation ( L.S.D.P.C ) (1999-2007).

v. the new national housing policy 1991

Housing policies in Nigeria are aimed basically at 6 major objectives which

are to:

i. Facilitate provision of houses for Nigerians at affordable prices.

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ii. Ensure the constant supply of loans to build, buy improve their

residential houses.

iii. Provide incentives for capital market to invest in property


iv. Encourage the development of specific programs for effectives

financing of housing developments, in particular low- cost

housing for low- income workers.

v. Provide policy control over the allocation of resource and funds

between the housing sector and other sectors of the economy.

vi. Provide long term loans to mortgage institutions for on-lending




The national housing policy of 1991{and its financial component-national

housing fund} was in operation for over eight years. A review of its
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implementation and performance did not show any remarkable influence in

housing delivery in the country. Between1992 and 1999 0nly #80million

was disbursed to180 contributors out of #3.738 billion collected from over

16,624,857 national housing fund contributors which makes up about 180

new dwellings. This makes the percentage of dwellings met up with about

0.01% {Arigbabola, 2000}.


The national housing program launched by the then head of state General.

Sanni. Abacha on April 1994. it also took advantage of the national housing

fund because it was the off shoot of national housing policy of 1991.The

primary aim was to establish a permanent housing delivery system which

should be self sustaining under a revolving fund arrangement. The target

figure was 121,000 housing units to be distributed throughout the states of

the federation. Available statistics shows that only 1,367 units were

completed and another 17,792units are under construction. This only

accounts for 15% of the project target.


The problems facing the supply of housing in Nigeria as identified by this

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research are as follows:

i. Difficulty in securing land and where possible at high prices

ii. High cost of labour , building materials leading to high cost

building construction cost.

iii. Lack of mortgage finance and where available with difficult lending

terms and conditions {such as availability of collateral securities and

high interest rates} to the exclusion of low income people.

iv. Our crowding, high room occupancy rates leading to over use\ over

stretching of existing facilities with in turn often break down.

v. High housing rents per unit leading to occupants spending more than

the recommended rate 20% of their monthly income on housing. Also,

many land lords these days demand up to 2years rent in advance which

is not easy to come by.

vi. Acute shortage of housing accommodation which probably would

contribute to high rents and overcrowding.

vii. The growth and development of slums especially by the first migrants

as a result of acute quantitative shortage of housing. The slums and

squatter settlements have created very unsightly conditions , urban

blight with environmental deterioration and degradation and can

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even lead to disease or epidemic.

viii. High cost of housing designs and professional fees and the building

design in some cases do not meet the socio-cultural need of the

people. Also , there is high cost of obtaining development permit

from town planning authorities.

ix. Inadequate provision of infrastructural facilities such as good roads,

pipe-borne water {supplies}, power supply {electricity}, drainage

system, refuse disposal systems e.t.c . Power supply in Nigeria today

is grossly inadequate as most resident enjoy electric power less than

10% of the time on the average in most urban centers yet they pay bills

as if they enjoyed 100% supply of power.

x. Power transportation services together with distance to place of work,

schools, shop{for shopping} e.t.c. equally contribute to the existing

housing problem, especially if the transportation cost are high or

places of schooling or employment location are far.

xi. Rural housing problem, students housing problems, urban filth and

squalor, poor sanitation services, unwholesome and unhealthy



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Below is listed some suggestions as practical solutions to some of

Nigeria’s housing delivery problems. The government should;

I. Ensure adequate provision of site and services scheme for

massive housing provision for all its employees.

II. Ensure the effective mobilization of mortgage finance so as to

make same easily accessible to all its staff.

III. Pursue vigorously a staff housing loan scheme such that all

their staff can benefit at below market interest rates. Monthly

deduction can be made from staff’s only monthly salary so as

to recover both the principal and the interest. By so doing,

homeownership as a policy would then be pursued at various

government levels.

IV. The land use decree of 1978 should be positively reviewed to

make land acquisition to all and sundry much easier.

V. Government can also pursue rent control measures that will be

practicable and result oriented so as to effectively control the

problem of high rents.

VI. Urban renewal measures, programs and projects should also be

given adequate attention by the various government of the

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federation. This is with a view to eliminating the problems of

poor environmental sanitation, urban blight and squallor and

unsanitary conditions.

VII. Government should pursue a dynamic mortgage finance\ credit

facilities policy such that such finances would be within reach

of low income people, at very moderate lending terms

including below market interest rate.

VIII. Government can build model housing estates for the low

income people where they can buy houses of their own at very

liberal conditions.

IX. Government should pursue an aggressive homeownership

policy with very good home ownership programs to back it up.

X. Other positive measures, policies\programs that can

significantly contribute to solving the numerous housing

problems of this country.

XI. The federal government should as a matter of policy set aside a

reasonable percentage of the country’s gross national product

or gross domestic product or its annual budget for housing.

This will ensure a steady supply of funds and will boost the

housing sector.
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The need for housing in Nigeria is enormous. This section reviewed the

conceptual issues underpinning the delivery of housing. The various public

interventions in housing delivery in policies have been examined.

This term paper also identified and have discussed the various problems that

has bedeviled the provision of housing in Nigeria, the various policies the

government put in place to counter this problems, the short comings of these

policies and suggested some possible practical solution to these problems.

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Hornby A. S. ( 1984 ) “ Oxford Advanced learners dictionary” Oxford

University press

Ezenagu V.C. ( 2000 ) “ Fundamentals of housing” Living- Stone Publishers

Arigbabola A. ( 2000 ) “ Conceptual issues in Housing and Housing

provision” Unpublished.

Balogun M. O. ( 2007) “ The built environment – innovation policy and

sustainable housing development in Nigeria.” Builder Focus 2007

Ezenagu V. C. ( 1998 ) “ Concepts of housing” Unpublished

Omange G. N. ( 2001 ) “Government involvement in housing” Unpublished

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