ASSESSING TENANTS’ PERSPECTIVE OF APARTMENT QUALITY (A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE)
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1.1 Background of the study
One of the most important human necessities is an apartment (Nurdini, 2012). It is the first unit of a community and the main human dwelling unit (Kurian and Thampuran, 2018). An apartment is the biggest investment of its life for most people (Lu, 2019). In general, housing is one of the major components of a society’s social and economic growth (Ministarstvo, 2013), and a consequence of multiple social, economic , and physical processes involving issues of location, quality of construction, cost, long-term financing, and household preferences (Meng and Hall, 2016). Modern lifestyles and housing needs have changed significantly in recent decades as a result of different social factors: shifts in expectations of the traditional family and the degree of freedom within a family, replacement of private living spaces with different other facilities, the conversion of living spaces in the pursuit of multi-functionality, increased mobility, and new information technologies that affected globalization and overall individualization (Kincl and Delić, 2015). Changes in housing needs have made necessary the constant assessment of housing quality so that it always meets the needs of its users.
However, housing quality, described by Osman and Lemmer (2002), as the standard of the residential environment that provides residents with accessible, safe and beautiful accommodation, in a sustainable manner has been a concern the world over. This is because it is said to affect welfare, health and productivity of individuals and households (Coker, Awokola, Olomolaiye, and Booth, 2007, and Krieger and Higgins, 2002). The quantitative inadequacies of housing however differ in magnitude between the developing and the developed countries and between the poor and the rich. It was on this premise that Ibimilua (2011) noted that the poor have inadequate access to quality housing, while the rich have greater chances of accessing good quality housing. The quality of a residential area reflects a city’s planning, development and resources allocation between socio-economic classes, and residents’ quality of life (Coker et al., 2007). Hence, improving quality of housing is an enormous task particularly in developing countries, including Nigeria (Olotuah, 2006d). In Nigeria, the major challenge in urban areas has been inadequacies in both quantity and quality of housing. Since housing has been known to be highly capital intensive, the investment by government and other stakeholders should be properly directed towards achieving good quality housing environment. This is very important in order to achieve value for money for their investments.
It was for this reason that the National Housing Policy in Nigeria was formulated in 1991 to provide sustainable solutions to the qualitative and quantitative housing challenges confronting citizens of this country. It was revised in 2004, 2006, and 2012 (FGN, 2002, 1991; Olofinji, 2015). In spite of these efforts to develop a good and workable policy framework for the housing sector, millions of citizens across Nigeria, including Lagos are living in substandard houses. This suggests that Nigeria as a country is yet to get it right in meeting the housing needs of her citizens and residents. In Lagos in particular, there has been attempts by past governments to provide houses for the populace. One question however is: how do residents of these estates perceive the quality of the houses provided through this public intervention? Numerous studies have highlighted the factors affecting housing quality (Fiadzo, Houston, and Godwin, 2001; Fiadzo, 2004; Olotuah, 2006d; Amole, 2007; Mallo and Anigbogu, 2009; Amao, 2012). From these studies it is evident that the factors determining housing quality (HQ) differ from one location to another as earlier asserted by Lawrence (1995). In the context of urban areas in Nigeria, rapid population growth, low economic status of most urban households, inadequate public resources and a general increase in the cost of housing are major issues. Consequently, studies (Onokerhoraye, 1976; Mabogunje, 1985; 1976; Diogu, 2002; Olotuah, 2003; Olotuah and Adesiji, 2005) have indicated that the deplorable quality of housing in this country has manifested in structurally unsound and substandard houses in urban and rural areas of the nation. Although the UN-HABITAT (2006) report reveals that Lagos State has one of the most critical housing challenges in Nigeria with a huge quantity of very low quality housing, there is paucity of literature on how residents perceive housing quality especially in the area of adequacy of spaces and services. A study of this nature will inform on the aspects of housing that residents may consider as least adequate, so as to inform future provisions.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Tenants of public housing face numerous challenges. However, there is a growing concern over the issue of housing quality in Lagos. Stakeholders have had reason to develop different housing strategies to curb the housing quality issue. The importance of housing to man remains an incontrovertible fact; that housing is second to food, in the basic needs of man is generally becoming old fashioned as some schools of thought are now saying give us house and we will take care of food. Besides, people who sleep in indecent urban Nigeria are more than people who sleep in decent houses; thus, it is ascertain that there is inadequacy in population in Nigeria. On the other hand, about 30 percent of the urban population in Nigeria lives in slums, deplorable conditions where people suffer from one or more of the following basic deficiencies in their housing: lack of access to improved water; lack of access to improved sewage facilities (not even an outhouse); living in overcrowded conditions; or living in buildings that are structurally unsound; living in a situation with no security of tenure (that is, without legal rights to be where they are, as renters or as owners). The same report said that 35 percent of the rural population lives in unacceptable conditions. Overall more than two million people are in desperate need of better housing.
1.3 Objective of the study
The general objective of this study is to assess tenants’ perspective of apartment quality (a case study of Lagos state) with the following specific objectives of the study:
- To examine the availability of housing services of selected estates in Lagos state
- To assess residents’ perceptive of the environment of selected estates in Lagos state
- To evaluate the accessibility to neighbourhood facilities in Lagos state selected Estates
- To determine the adequacy of circulation space in the dwelling units of selected Estates in Lagos state
- To examine the satisfaction with security of lives and property of selected Estates in Lagos state
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the availability of housing services of selected estates in Lagos state?
- What is the residents’ perceptive of the environment of selected estates in Lagos state?
- What is the accessibility to neighbourhood facilities in Lagos state selected Estates?
- What is the adequacy of circulation space in the dwelling units of selected Estates in Lagos state
- What is the satisfaction with security of lives and property of selected Estates in Lagos state?