Full Project – The effects of overcrowding on housing quality

Full Project – The effects of overcrowding on housing quality

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Housing is generally refers to the social problem of ensuring that members of society have a home in which to live, whether a house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging or shelter. Therefore, housing is one of the most important basic necessities of mankind, known to tremendously affect human health and well-being.

Many governments have a department that deals with housing e.g. United States Department of housing and Urban Development.

It is widely acknowledged that adequate housing is essential for good life is a key requirement for an efficient and satisfied labour force and the foundation of satisfactory community life.

Furthermore, researchers have shown that housing can affect mental and physical health, both positively and negatively (Eanning, 1967,Macpherson, 1979, Riaz, 1987).

The study by Year (2002) established linkages between poor housing and its detrimental effects on health with particular emphasis on the mental health of residents. The some study also provides evidence to support the view that poor housing can exacerbate existing health problems. In the Nigerian situation Oluwande, back in 1983, concluded that children’s progress is started by damp, overcrowded, ill-ventilated and poorly little accommodation.

Man has almost completely destroyed the living environment. These has resulted not only into traffic chaos, slum settlement, social illness, moral decadences, but also problem of over stretching of the available housing facilities. These public utilities such as pipe borne water, electricity telephone etc are indications of disorderliness in our environment. We cook in the street, perform basic sanitary functions in the indifferent gaze of passerby. We virtually live in the street were the numbers of occupants mostly abuse the facilities that would have served a minimal number of people (Fortune .E. 1982). Human settlements are focal points of commercial, industrial, administrative, health, education and recreational activities required by the populate.

The ministry of land and settlement. Kenya (1978:31) observed that human settlement performs residential economic and service essential role as agents of economic growth by providing favourable locating for productive investments. Cities in Nigeria like Kano and Ibadan generate abundant revenue from urban government while providing the required income/earnings.

For individuals to meet their welfare requirements unfortunately, it is in these cities that the problems of degradation of the environment, human qualities of life through overcrowding which is influenced by increase in demography population and the “push force” to urban areas are mostly acute.

Uncontrollable urban growth has resulted in the sporadic growth of slums characterized by overcrowding, poverty, and street children and highly unsanitary environmental. There is always the view that the measurement of the physical and environmental qualities of residential units is one of the problematic aspects of housing research which   broadly address the effects of overcrowding on housing qualities. It is however founded on the subjective basis of the quality judgment parameters for residential services.

According to Sule 1980; the establishment of a housing standard is a problem associated with the formulation of a housing policy.

Consequently, little or no attention is paid to the manner in which standards are being   established and virtually absent in the recognition that standards might be an integral element of overcrowding on housing qualities.

Generally, the effect of overcrowding on housing qualities  is linked with the deterioration of urban environmental, its effects, if not checked can lead to slum  and squatter settlement with high rate of crime, high population (densely populated) and economic meltdown or breakdown.





The importance of housing covers the entire aspects of human life. Primarily, it involves ordinarily may be regarded as shelter, but also provide the setting from any of the biological and social processes necessary to sustain life which permits the healthy growth and development of the mind.

However, the rate at which housing qualities  are been over stretched in recent times due to “population growth” and other factors sure as migration has been alarming. The rise in urban population has led to various problematic conditions of housing and urban infrastructure. This research topic is centered on the effect of overcrowding on housing qualities in Owerri suburbs Akwakuma of Imo state. These will permit the healthy growth and development of the mind.

In all, housing as a unit of the environment of man has a profound influence on the health, social behavior, satisfaction and general welfare of the community. It reflects the cultural, social and economic values of a society as it is the best physical and historical evidence of civilization in a country (Aluko 2009).

Most Nigerian cities, with the exception of the newly developed federal capital city of Abuja, have experienced decay in both housing and physical infrastructural qualities over the past few decades, possibly due to economic downturn in the nation. Unlike developed nations, the mortgage industry is still its infancy in Nigeria with the real estate sector contributing less than one percent (19%) to the nation’s GDP (Punch Newspaper, 15th September 2007).

In a recent development, 25 slums in port-Harcourt have been earmarked for demolition and replacement with new housing units by the Rivers state government (Guardian Newspapers, 24th August, 2007). However, this move is being strongly residents by those affected. It appears that residents of slums are not always willing to relocate to less crowded accommodation. Similar problems occur in developed nations. For instance, only five percent (5%) were ready to be re-housed into the London country Councils Becontree Estate under England’s Post-first world war street improvement or slum clearance scheme (Olechnowic, 1997).

Residential land accounts for the largest proportion of total urban land uses in many African cities. The zoning regulation in many of these cities arbitrarily determine the quality of land supplied  to the urban land market and not by the laws of supply and demand, which Egbu et al (2006) found out fails to meet the demand. Normally a property developer in a Nigeria city first has to secure a “location permit” (land right) and then a development right (planning permission). This is a process that has been made very cumbersome by government bureaucrats who, it is claimed, use it to gain some personal financial advantage. Most housing developments are executed by private developers, taking the form of flats and rooming accommodation, which are popularly called “face me, I face you”. These account for between 60 and 80 percent of urban housing in Nigeria (Ogu and Ogbuozobe, 2001). Egbu et    al (2007) devised a model for three Nigeria cities and concluded that properly monitored land use planning has a positive bandwagon effect on housing quality.

The quality of a residential area not only mirrors the city development, planning and allocation mechanism between socio-economic groups, but also shows the quality of life of the urbanities. The realization of a decent home in a suitable living environment requires the availability of clear air, portable water, adequate shelter and other basic services and facilities. The present study was aimed at investigating housing quality as well as the quality of the environment in which such houses are sited.  This is pertinent in view of the increasing incidences of disease and epidemics in Ibadan confirmed by the studies of Sango Doyin and Coker (2005) and Aluko (2006).





The effect of overcrowding on housing qualities which is centered in Owerri suburb of Akwakuma has produce negative impact to and on the environment. It is the negative impacts of man’s interaction with the environment that are discussed as following;

  1. Poor housing qualities
  2. Inadequate building set-back
  3. Poor sanitary condition
  4. Insufficient infrastructural facilities eg electricity, water supply etc.
  5. Poor road network
  6. Lack of adequate drainage facilities
  7. Over population and liquid waste, poor ventilation and ill treatment/handling of public infrastructure and other problems which includes;
  8. Consistent breakage of sulk-away pits.
  9. Poor road condition and construction
  10. Irregularity in power supply (electricity) etc.



The aim of this study is to ascertain the overstretching level of the available housing quality in the area of study in connection with the source of overcrowding and strength of material used.


  • To ascertain the level of damaged caused by the overcrowding in the available housing qualities in the study area.
  • To determine the level of amenities in the study area.
  • To determine the source of overcrowding and the effects on housing qualities.
  • To determine the physical planning strategies to avert the problems created by overcrowding in the study area.
  • To examine the problem associated with over stretching of the available facilities in the study area.



  1. What are the effects of overcrowding on housing qualities in the study area?
  2. What are the negative effects of overcrowding on the available housing qualities in the study area?
  3. What problem are associated with the crowding of housing qualities in the study and what are the ratio of the households to the available ones?
  4. What physical strategies are appropriate for managing qualities in the study area?


Ho:  Urban expansion and sustainable building materials are not significant factors causing overcrowding on housing qualities in the study.

Hi:   Urban expansion and substandard building materials are factors causing overcrowding on housing qualities in the study.



The study is centered on Akwakuma in Owerri North, Owerri North is made up of the following communities, Akwakuma, Egbu, Emekuku, Emii, NAZE, Orji, Obibi Uratta, Awaka, Azaraegbelu, Ulakwo, Obibe, Ezimba, Ihitte Oagada, Agbala.



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Full Project – The effects of overcrowding on housing quality