1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Shelter is one of the basic needs of life along side food and clothing. Therefore, housing development pattern of any nation is of great importance. Accordingly the housing industry occupies and crucial position in a Nation’s economy. This sterms from the fact that the level of development of a country is assessed by the quality and quantity of her ever increasing housing system and population.
Housing is paramount to human existence as it ranks among top three needs of man. Its provision has always been of great necessity to man. It is a reflection of the cultural, social and economic values of a society and one of the best historical evidences of the civilization of a country. The provision of adequate housing in any country is very vital as housing is a stimulant of the national economy. Housing is a set of durable assets, which accounts for High proportion of a country’s wealth and on which households spend a substantial part of their income. It is for these reasons that housing has become a regular feature in economic, social and political debates often with highly charged emotional contents.
This makes housing itself a commodity each class of any nations citizenry is well or not able to afford (or least or rent) due to his or her status in society. Whereas, the rich, well-to-do or high house of his taste or preferences befitting his position in the society, the middle class may or may not be able to operate at a similar level as above. This means that the scale of preference, taste or valves will be much less than the aforementioned. Similarly, the lower class will be even more restricted by his income, social limitations, e.t.c to reside in the choices of houses others above can afford.
Overall, the net effect and connection among the classes is centered around tastes, which is underpriced by position/status in society, scale of performance and choices based on income generation, as well as class based on tastes and values. Olotmah (2009) has observed that the disparity between the price and quantity of housing on the one hand, and the number of households and the money available to them to pay these prices on the other, constitutes the central problem of housing. The cost at which houses reach the market goes a long way to determine affordability. Where the unit cost of houses is abnormally high only a few people are able to afford the houses. According to Omojinmi and Windapo (2002) the gap between income and housing cost in Nigeria is very wide.
Given the above scenario, who provides the houses? What are the sources of housing financing? What type of houses? Where are they located? At what price or cost? These cogent questions can only be answered when we are able to situate the conditions of available housing supply which we know unequivocally does not meet the demands of the poor needy in terms of basic shelter needs.
Nonetheless the low-income earners, being of the bottom pole of the supply ladder, are left to the following variables.
- Although be needs a house, be is unable to buy at a the prevailing cost.
- The competition is great and there is limitation of choices and
- The location and types of structures within his capacity may not be suitable to his needs. So, be is forced to do the next thing, which is squat with friends or family. On the other hand, build or settle for substandard or make shift housing units in the squalid environment. This is likened to derchlick or stum conditions, where basic social and sanitary amenities are few and far. In other words, the level of decency may be far from deserved. Given the worst case scenario, the needy or low-income earners are limited to what they can afford amidst other competing or compelling needs – i.e. food, water, light, clothing, healthcare, etc. In addition, to maintaining a level of decorum in safety admist other factors. This conditions remains because housing has typically been regarded as an unwanted step child, a frustrating existence in the family of projects that constitutes progress or economic development. Paradoxically, past theories of economic development regarded housing as a non-productive, durable consumption good and service with an extremely high capital output ratio. Nigeria belongs to the category of countries where the above conditions prevail.
The subject of housing has generated much discussion and interest in Nigeria in the last two decades. This has given rise to calls on the various levels of government to greater priority to the inherent housing problems and to allocate a reasonable percentage of annul budgets to housing. Unfortunately, the provision of housing has been generally viewed by the policy-makers in Nigeria as something to be tolerated rather than desired. The attitude has resulted in giving housing a low priority rating in development planning. For example, specific output target have always been set for agriculture, manufacturing industries, roads, water etc. but housing has been treated as a “social over broad” and it may well be seen as the great Nigerian Failure of the last two decades.
Consequently, the level of government commitment towards providing decent and improved accessibility level of housing finance to all classes of citizens has been questionable and less desirable. Thus, the history of government intervention in national policy framework and its implementation since 1954-1972, postdated by the national building society (NBS), regional housing corporations, staff housing scheme/quarters and the colonially induced GRA (Government Reservation Area) for top echelon civil servants, has been sectional and discriminatory. The net effect is the unwholesome isolation and Neglect of the poor to find any type of accommodation anywhere be can afford in order to meet the most basic human and need which is shelter.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems associated with sourcing accessibility of housing finance for low-income earners have spanned several decades and generations and cuts across the globe. As a unit of the environment housing has profound influence on the health, efficiency, social behaviour, satisfaction and general welfare of the community.
As far as the low-income earners are concerned, they are at the bottom scale of recognition in terms of government policies, plans and programmes. Policies and program failures are regular features of lack of the political will, particularly capacity building to ensure standard and affordable housing that outs across all levels of the society.
Nonetheless, the basic housing needs of the poor, particular the low-income earners can be streamlined along the following lines of acceptance of inequality.
- Poor remuneration or law income earners
- High capital formation (income generation)
- High cost of loans and non-functional mortgage fiancé scheme.
- Unemployment/informed housing finance
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The basic aim of the study is to examine the prospects of accessibility of funds to low-income earners for improved housing access. And to determine the nature of the challenges of affordable housing delivery for the low-income group.
A major objectives to the study is to evolve relevant scenarios that would facilitate improved access and funds to low-income earners for housing purposes. The study hopes to generate probable solution in the following areas:
- To identify features of housing access or opportunities.
- To identify sources of housing finance and the avenues that can generate funds for the low-income earners.
- To identify the factors that influences housing finance.
- To establish a comparative analysis of housing type to housing market with a view to determining accessibility of housing finance to temporal housing procurement (rent).
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What opportunities exist for housing access?
- What are the main sources of housing finance for potential home earners?
- What is the impact of income generation and government policies in accessing housing finance?
- What types of houses are available and affordable to low-income earners with reference toothier income status (i.e. housing market)
1.5 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION
The study is mainly on accessibility of housing and low-income earners (public or private) and as such it is paramount to establish a rink between housing finance and right or privileges of access to a decent accommodation. Hence by quantitative analysis, through questionnaire survey, it is intended that the nature of challenges, to housing access shall be treated with much interest and review. Consequently, studies of this nature direct access to participants in their various locations require.
In addition, limitations occur due to some unavailable limitations, such as:
- Mobility and identification of location/population of the study for ease of data interpretation.
- High cost (funds) of reaching out to all concerned in the sample size.
1.6 STUDY AREA
Abeokuta South is a Local Government Area (L.G.A) in Nigeria with headquarters at Ake Abeotuta. It has an area of 71km2 and a population of 250,278 as of the 2006 census. Owing to its historic importance as the traditional scat of the local or Native Authority in Egba since 1898 as well as the scat of the Government of Ogun State that came into existence in 1976, the Aeokuta South Local Government is usually refer-red to as the Premier Local Government. The L.G.A of Abeokuta South is divided into 15wards for the purpose of electing councilors into the local government council. Thesde wards are:Ake 1, Ake2, Ake III (Adatan/Landbro), Fmere Ijemo, Itoko, Ijaiye/Idi – Aba, Emnibe/-Titun/Ago-Egun, Sodeke3/Isale Ijeun I, Sodeke/Isale Ijeun II, Oke-Teye/Imo/Isabo, Igbore, Itori/Agooba and Ibara.
Situated on the Ogun River 64miles worth of Lagos by railway and 81miles by water, Abeokuta is the largest city and capital of Ogun State in South West Nigeria. It his infertile country, the surface of which is broken by masses of grey granite and is spread over an extensive area surrounded by mud walls 18miles in extent. It is vastly occupied by indigenes, whose main religion is traditional worship comprising of Esan’s, Igbo’s, Hausa’s and other mirror tribes.
Their main source of income generation stretches through. Agriculture, the Agro-industrial potential of the Ogun states makes Abeokuta an important trading centre for rice, maize, cassava, yam, banana, cocoa, palm-oil and palm kernel and they are the largest producer and exporter of kola nuts in Nigeria. Coltage industries in Abeokuta South L.G.A. includes pottery at Ijaiye, tye and dye with locally grown indigo at Itoka, wood carving, blacksmith etc. The Ogun State also produces timber and rubber in abundance and its rich in mineral resources. Modern industrial produce in Ogun State include high quality beer, and clay bricks, Bicycle tires, ceramic goods, carpets and clothing material to further boost the growth and development of the agricultural sector, and its major contributions to the Nigerian economy, institutional supports and programmes have been designed for the local government area of Abeokuta South.