Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Housing problems and vulnerability in Nigeria’s informal settlements
Authors: Nchor, Julius Uti
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study assesses the urban housing problems and vulnerability of low-income households living in informal settlements in Nigeria, using Calabar metropolis as a case study. After reviewing theories and policies, the study then applies the concepts drawn from an international perspective to understand the context. The sustainable livelihood approach (SLA) is used to construct an analytical lens for empirical investigation. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods have been utilised to collect primary and secondary data. Four settlements were surveyed, and a questionnaire was developed and used to collect data from 425 households in Calabar metropolis. In-depth interviews, non-participant observation and focus groups were conducted. The quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS version 26, IBM, Armonk, NY). The qualitative data were carefully transcribed, coded and analysed using NVivo 1.2 (QRS International). Finally, a mixed-method procedure was introduced using the Department for International Development (DFID) sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) to triangulate the data and analyse the research findings. There is a symbiotic relationship between housing and residents’ opportunities for making a livelihood in urban low-income households. Increasingly, population growth continues to put pressure on economic development, the capacity of urban infrastructure and the available housing stock. The trend is to exclude poor people from the benefits of development. These exclusionary trends include poor urban planning, excluding residents from participating in economic and decision-making processes, inequality and deprivation. Shocks such as flooding, environmental degradation, ill-health, storms, and forced evictions can directly destroy people’s assets. They face seasonal shocks in the form of fluctuations and increases in food prices, seasonality in construction and building employment, and price and production of food. The ability of households to manage their assets to take advantage of opportunities for economic activity is constrained, firstly by their levels of education and skill and household size, and secondly by economic factors (such as income levels, occupations available to them and unemployment). The comparatively low growth in their per capita income limits households’ ability to consume or invest in housing and infrastructure. As a result, they have limited access to electricity, water, sanitation, sewerage and drainage and roads. The findings of this study show that some households make an effort to extend their living space and enhance their ownership of assets using strategies such as setting up home-based enterprises or renting out rooms. Other livelihood strategies used by households include investing in education, pawning their belongings, migrating and engaging in urban agriculture. However, some of these strategies negatively impact on these low-income residents and further increase their vulnerability. These findings further indicate how policies, institutions and processes (PIPs) mediate the access to assets of the urban poor. The study identifies institutions, regulations and security of tenure as the prevailing factors that limit their access to assets. The study has also found that existing institutions at various levels contribute to these issues, such as their lack of information about policies that are directly related to poor households’ livelihoods, their lack of financial capacity to make improvements on a large scale and permitting the supply of land outside formal regulatory frameworks. The study concludes that housing policy needs to embrace an appropriate form of settlement intervention that is context-specific, pro-poor, broad-based and participatory and one that will respond to the reality of households’ experiences in Calabar metropolis. This builds on the enabling approach for improvement and upgrading settlements to provide adequate and affordable housing for low-income groups. It recommends policies and strategies that can significantly increase the amount of affordable housing available and provide infrastructure by mainstreaming employment generation activities by building partnerships with community organisations, together with participatory planning, responsive land policies and good urban governance.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
NchorJU2022.pdfThesis5.23 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
dspacelicence.pdfLicence43.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.