Housing is a right as enshrined in the Nigeria Constitution, and provides for adequate, decent and affordable housing for all. Adequacy in that, there are good quality rental and owner occupier housing units for low income families. Affordable in that total housing costs are affordable to those that have low income. Decent in that it provides a foundation for good physical and mental health, personal development and fulfillment of life objectives. Affordable housing is however a major problem in Nigeria. Informal settlements and slums have continued to grow and a large percentage of the urban population lives here. The slums are characterized by congested tin roofed and mud houses. There is also poor infrastructure with regards to sewerage system, electricity, clean water and access roads.

According to the National housing policy the estimated current housing needs are at 150,000 per year while the current production of new housing in urban areas is only 20,000-30,000 units annually giving a shortfall of over 120,000 units per annum. This shortfall in housing has been met through proliferation of squatter and informal settlements and overcrowding.

Nigeria, like many other developing countries often come up with housing policies, plans and institutional frameworks geared towards provision in Rivers state of housing low income groups to alleviate the situation mentioned above.

This seeks to analyze the various legislative and institutional frameworks set by the government with special emphasis to low cost housing. The research questions include finding out the impact of the housing policies and institutional frameworks. A review of existing literature in the area of the study has also been done. Chapter three shows the design and methodology of the research. The following chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the response of both the policy makers and developers of the low cost housing on housing policies. In the findings it emerged that a lot needs to be done to improve on the legislative and institutional frameworks in the housing sector. As a result the study had its main recommendation as the review of outdated legislation in the housing sector such as the Building Code.

1. 0. Introduction
Adequate shelter as defined in the Habitat Agenda means more than a roof over one’s head. It should include;

…adequate privacy; adequate space; physical accessibility; adequate security; security of tenure; structural stability and durability; adequate lighting, heating and ventilation; adequate basic infrastructure, such as water-supply, sanitation and waste management facilities; suitable environmental quality and health related factors; and adequate and accessible location with regard to work and basic facilities; all of which should be available at an affordable cost. Adequacy should be determined together with the people concerned, bearing in mind the prospect for gradual development.” (Habitat Agenda, 1996: 18)

Despite several efforts made in the past to reduce poverty, especially in developing countries, access to basic services such as health, education and housing among others continues to be a challenge. The United Nations (UN) member states in 2000 agreed on eight specific goals to be achieved by 2015 i.e. The Millennium Development Goals

(MDG’s). The MDG’s were revised in 2008 and four additional targets were added this include; Target 11 of Goal 7) this target calls for massive production of low cost housing for the slum dwellers.

A common challenge with many governments in sub-Saharan Africa is the achievement of the aforementioned target. The result is that many people end up with no place to live, thus settling in slums. In Nigeria the result has been mushrooming of large slums in urban centres for example Kibera and Mathare in Rivers state; Kondele, in Kisumu and Langas in Eldoret- just to mention a few, these slums are indicative of the fact that provision in Rivers state of decent and low cost housing in the country is still a challenge.

According to Article 43 1(b) of the Nigerian Constitution, every person has the right to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation (FRN, 2010). Commitment to a right to adequate housing should be the foundation not only for housing policy but also for a new social-economic agenda in Nigeria. The call to adopt and implement the socio-economic right to housing as outlined in the Nigerian constitution not only has an ethical basis in principles of justice but it is also based on a highly pragmatic perspective[1]. A host of new social relationships and economic opportunities would emerge if the socio-economic right to housing as envisioned in the constitution was realized leading to decline of extensive negative impacts of inadequate housing (Peterson, 2005).

The urban population in Nigeria grows at a rate of seven percent yearly (NBS, 2011). At such a high rate, supply of adequate and affordable housing for all Nigerians especially the lower socio-economic strata lags behind. This means home ownership remains elusive for a majority of urban settlers. The fact that nearly 60 percent of houses under habitation in urban areas are considered ‘inadequate’ is illustrative of inadequate and indecent urban housing (Owuor, 2012).

The housing demand for Nigeria currently stands at 150,000 units per annum for urban housing (FRN, 2004) but out of this only an estimated 35,000 are produced by both government and private developers. A majority of the housing units supplied by the government and private sector is aimed at the middle class and the high strata of the socio-economic groups. these and factors such as, graft marred distribution and allocation of government funded housing projects the high cost of the privately developed housing units has meant that the delivery of housing for the low income groups continues to be low.

1.2 Problem Statement
Government legislations and policies in the housing sector are designed to facilitate production and provision in Rivers state of adequate and decent housing for all. Where there are imperfections in the housing market the government is obligated to rectify the imperfections on both the demand and supply side.

In Nigeria sustainable development is premised upon a number of socio-economic rights achievements one of these is the right to adequate and decent housing. The realization of this right is important as it will lead to a healthy population. These among other essentials ensure that the population remains productive and motivated to work. However, one major problem bedeviling a large proportion of the productive population in Nigeria is the lack of decent and affordable housing especially for the low income groups. The little that is available is accessible to a significantly small portion of the population.

There is a lot of concentration of property development in the high-income category although the demand for housing is most acute in the middle and low income categories. Some of the reasons behind this include availability of mortgage finance to Nigerians at the higher income end and insufficient serviced land that could be set aside for low income housing.

Most low income urban dwellers live in deplorable conditions, a characteristic of habitation in the slums, the current urban housing need is estimated at 150,000 units per annum as opposed to the current production of 20,000-30,000 units annually, the enormous deficit stands at 120,000units per annum (FRN, 2004). The role of government in low income housing is critical as evidenced by the Nigeria Constitution recognition of housing as a key constitutional right under the Bill of Rights article 43 (1) (b) (FRN, 2010).

Low income housing in Nigeria has been hampered by lack of adoptive housing sector policy an example of this is in the housing financing where key financial institutions in Nigeria continue to ignore provision in Rivers state of finance for low cost housing leaving it to secondary financial institutions such as microfinance institutions. This situation has been blamed on the lack of incentives for the financial institutions to provide financing for the low income groups, a key indication of the lack of an adoptive housing sector policy regime. To remedy this there is a need to understand how policy influences low cost housing delivery in Nigeria. This study therefore seeks to analyze influence of housing sector policies[2] on delivery of low cost housing to Nigerians.

1.3 Objectives of the study
Main objective.
i. To examine the impact of housing sector policies on housing provision in Rivers state.

Specific objectives
i. To identify key housing legislative and institutional frameworks.

ii. To determine the impact of legislative and institutional frameworks in the housing sector on housing provision in Rivers state.

iii. To give recommendations for improvement in the legislative and institutional frameworks.

1.4 Research Questions
i. Which are the key housing legislative and institutional frameworks in Nigeria?

ii. What are the impacts of legislative and institutional in the housing sector in housing provision in Rivers state?

iii. What are the recommendations for improvement in the legislative and institutional frameworks?

1.5 Significance of the study
The importance of this study is to analyze how housing sector policies affect the availability of low cost housing as well as impact on the growth of the housing sector in Nigeria. Decent and affordable housing plays a major role in making comfortable the lives of people in any society. They determine the willingness of a population to work, earn a livelihood, save and even acquire better housing facilities for themselves, let alone other necessities and luxuries alike. This important aspect of a society’s needs is not without limiting factors as to their availability which forms the basis of this study. By undertaking this study I intend to come up with a factual conclusion that can be of use for various stakeholders in the housing sector especially relating to the need for low cost housing.

These stakeholders include:
1.5.1 The Government
The findings of the study will be useful for the Government to know the effectiveness of the various government policies; as a result the information will be used to enable the poor to access housing, basic services and infrastructure necessary for a healthy living environment especially in urban areas. The government can also review the current the policies to give the best services in the housing sector.

1.5.2 Housing Developers
These are the persons who undertake the various real estate projects and building different types of housing units to suit different types of home owners and tenants. This study will provide an insight to the housing developers on what government policies are on low cost housing and the various incentives available for them to take advantage of, so as to increase low cost housing delivery to cater for low income earners.

1.5.3 Financial Institutions
The study will be important for development of a housing finance product tailored for the low income earners.

1.6 Scope of the study
Conceptual: the study will adopt a structural analysis of key housing sector policies in Nigeria and thus its analysis will be mainly macro.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 50 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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