While decent housing is important to every individual and nation, housing crisis remains one of the global problem and grave and rising challenges facing urban residents, particular in most developing countries. It has a profound influence on the health, efficiency social behaviour, satisfaction and general economic values of a society. Yet a great proportion of Nigeria population still lives in substandard and poor houses and in deplorable, unsanitary residential environment. Years ago, rapid urbanization and economic growth have compounded the problem of inadequate housing for the increasing population, urban growth has brought about all typical problems which follow rapid urban development and include housing shortage both quantitative and qualitative, slums, illegal settlement and squatting. This research attempt to show an assessment of residential housing problem in the urban area of Nigeria. The research used Umuahia, Abia State as a case study. The research seeks to examine residential housing stock. It will identify the nature of housing problems both in quantity and in quality. It will also examine government policies and programmes in the area of housing provision. Look at possible solutions aimed at solving the problems.



Title page                                                              i

Certification page                                                   ii

Approval page                                                               iii

Dedication                                                             iv

Acknowledgement                                                  v

Synopsis                                                               vii

Table of content                                                     viii


CHAPTER ONE                                              

1.0  Introduction                                                    1

1.1  Background of the study                                   1

1.2  Problem statement                                          5

1.3  Objective of study                                           6

1.4  Scope of study                                                       7

1.5  Delineation of the study area                             7

1.6  Significant of the study                                     9

1.7  Definition of terms                                           9

1.8  Organization of study                                       10

1.9  Limitation of the study                                     11



2.1  Literature review                                             12

2.2  Economic growth and urbanization in Nigeria              14

2.3  Nigeria’s housing problems                                16

2.4  Problems of property development                            21

2.5  Housing policies and programmes in Nigeria        25

2.6  Economic and social background of Umuahia              42



3.0  Research methodology                                     46

3.1  Research design                                              46

3.2  Population of study                                          47

3.3  Sample size                                                    48

3.4  Sampling technique                                          49

3.5  Sources of data                                               50

3.6  Method of data collection                                  51




4.0  Presentation and analysis of data                       52

4.1  Introduction                                                    52

4.2  Presentation of data                                                52




5.0  Summary of findings, Conclusion and

Recommendation                                             73

5.1  Summary of findings                                        73

5.2  Conclusion                                                      75

5.3  Recommendation                                             76








This analysis is a study of an assessment of residential housing problem in the urban areas of Nigeria using Umuahia Urban as a case study.



From time immemorial, the provision of housing has always giving man concern and worries, since home provides man with some level of comfort and relaxation. The desire and need for the provision of shelter can be traced to the early men who used the caves which provided him with shelter, a place for habitation, relaxation, protection and defence from external aggressions. Therefore, the provision of housing has been one of the basic requirements for human existence and very vital in the development and growth of any economy of a country. Hence, much effort are being directed towards the provision of decent and adequate housing for the populace.

The provision of decent and adequate housing has been faced with some difficulties which has resulted to the problem of shortage of residential houses leading to; high rent, high cost of building materials, high cost of construction, inadequate supply of amenities.

The revised draft national housing policy 2011 defines housing “ as the process of simultaneous production (building) to target prices of large number of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable residential buildings with secure tenure; on a continuous and permanent basis with adequate physical infrastructure, amenities and social services in a planned, healthy and livable environment to meet the basic and special needs of the population and reflecting their socio-economic cultural aspirations and preferences”. Decent housing affords man privacy, protection, prestige and dignity. Yet this basic needs eludes a high proportion of the population of this country despite man’s technological advancement.

The history of man battling for a good living has been persistence most especially in the housing sector. In Nigeria, housing problems are enormous and complex, showing apparent and marked regional differences in most urban countries. The problem of housing in our urban centres is not only restricted to the quantity of housing stock, but also to the quality of available housing units, infrastructure and the environment. The result is manifested in growing overcrowding in homes, neighborhoods, communities and increasing pressure on infrastructural facilities such as roads, drainages, power supply, etc, and rapidly deteriorating environment.

The provision of housing in a giving area may be linked with specific polices which includes the free market approach where people are expected to participate in the building of houses for themselves as well as the government through construction of housing estate at a subsidized rate.

This housing problem is world wide and it is of a recurring nature. In fact it is doubtful if any nation of the world can satisfactorily meet its housing requirements.

The study area “UMUAHIA” has a mixed population, predominantly civil savants. With increasing administrative, commercial and industrial activities, people from all works of life are attracted to the area resulting to high population density. Again, the sitting of institutions like Trinity Theological College, National Root Crops Research institute, etc in the centre of the town has added to the population as well as increase in the demand for residential accommodation. It is a fact that demand has out weighed supply leading to increase in house rent and over usage of available facilities. Similarly, the use of some accommodation meant to residences as offices and shops goes to heighten the problem.

This research therefore is intended to examine the existing houses in Umuahia in order to identify the nature of the housing problems both quantitative and qualitative. This will enable the government to pursue appropriate policies that will aid in alleviating the housing problems of urbanities. Who in Umuahia are mostly civil savants whose income are not enough to build their own houses.



Right from the existence of man on large planet earth, the need and struggle for adequate and decent accommodation has always posed a problem. The concentration of population in the urban areas has made the supply of housing inadequate to the demand facing it. Therefore, the shortage of housing supply in the study area has been a serious issue to the urban dwellers. This can be seen where more than eight (8) family members share a single room regulating in overcrowding in home, neighborhoods and increasing pressure on infrastructural facilities such as drainage, power supply, etc, and rapidly deteriorating environment. It is on the basis of this, that this research is being carried out so as to address the issue.

This research is intended to provide answers to the following questions

1)    What are the nature of housing problem in Umuahia urban?

2)    To what extent have these causes and problems affected the urban areas of Umuahia capital?

3)    The contribution of the government in term of policies toward meeting housing demand in the area.



Having observed that people and mostly civil servants in Umuahia are faced with residential housing problems. The objectives of this paper, therefore, are:

1)    To examine the existing residential housing stock in Umuahia.

2)    To identify the problem associated with residential houses in Umuahia.

3)    To examine the existing housing policies in Nigeria toward solving the housing problems.

4)    To examine possible solution at solving these problems.



This study is based on the assessment of residential housing problem in Nigeria using Umuahia, Abia State as a case study. It will be based on taking critical study on the existing housing stock, the nature of housing problem both quantitative and qualitative. The study will also examine government policies and programmes in the area of housing provision. Furthermore, it will suggest possible ways to solve the problems.



Umuahia is the capital of Abia state, Nigeria. Umuahia city is a town locate within Ibeku. The city of Umuahia as it is now is  made up of Ibeku villages called Amuzukwu to the north, Afara to the south, Nkata to the north east, Ohokobe Ndume to the south east, then Osaah and Ugwunchara and Emede village to the west.

Umuahia is located on top of a foot hill that is a part of the Cameroon mountain range that sloped into Imo River. The hills flattens as it passes Ubakala to become one of the even graded paces in the Eastern Part of Nigeria to the edge of Atlantic Ocean at Port Harcourt. The city of Umuahia has expanded a lot into the surrounded villages and many have found themselves in the middle of the crossroads heading in and out of the city. Umuahia is surrounded by other big villages like Olokoro, Ubakala, Old Umuahia, Umuokpara, Ohuhu, Oboro, Abam,  Item, Uzuakoli.

This research Centres on Umuahia urban which comprises Amuzukwu, Umueze, Osaah, Umuagu, Afara and Ndume. Map 1 and 2 will assist in locating Umuahia Urban. Map 1 is the map of Nigeria identifying Abia state, and Map 2 is the map of Abia state identifying Umuahia north(study area).





The important of this case study lies in the fact that it examine the residential housing problem in Umuahia urban both quantitative and qualitative. The study will aid to examine the responses of government in trying to meet the housing demand in the study area.



This section of the research is meant to define some of those terms that  appeared in the topic in order to remove any ambiguity in  the understanding of the research.


According to Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary, assessment is an opinion or a judgment about something that has been thought about very carefully.


A house is a place which provides shelter, refuge, comfort, security, and dignity (Onibokun, 1983).



According to wikipedia (2011), an urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it.


This express the growth of towns at the expense of the countryside; it is a measure of the shift of population from one to the other (Maurice Umeakuka, 2004).



       The research work is divided into five chapters.

Chapter one is the introduction chapter which consist of Background, problem statement, objectives of study, among others.

Chapter two follows with review of literature relevant to the work.

Chapter three is based on research methodology.

Chapter four is where data obtained in the survey are analyzed and interpreted.

Chapter five habours summary of the findings as well as conclusion drawn and recommendations made.



In carrying out this research, several problems were encountered which include the problem of covering the study areas due to urban size. Other limitation include time and energy consuming especially when the residential occupants were absent leading to repeated visitation to the place.

Despite the constraint, efforts were made in all ramifications to ensure that the aims and objectives of this research were achieved.