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CJRBE: VOL. 11 NO. 1, JUNE 2023

Factors Influencing Transformation of Prototype Public Housing in Northern Nigeria

September 28, 2023


This paper explored factors influencing transformation and their relationship to residential satisfaction within prototype public housing in northern Nigeria as such studies are rare. Transformation increases and improves existing housing stocks in order to address acute housing deficits but exerts enormous pressure on urban infrastructure notably electricity and water supply, waste disposal, drainage and road networks. The study employed mixed methods through observations of transformations within three prototype public estates in Abuja, Sokoto and Potiskum as well as a survey regarding reasons residents transform their houses. Data from 73 respondents were analysed using descriptive statistics and Principal Components Analyses (PCA). Results revealed that the houses were largely allocated to civil servants within the middle to high-income bracket on owner-occupier basis and rarely to the low-income group. Mean satisfaction of 2.99 illustrates that residents were generally dissatisfied with the condition of their dwellings. Transformations were influenced by spatial, structural psychological and institutional factors as the lack of satisfaction with dwelling unit design; increasing housing stock, maintenance, privacy and services; increasing interior/sleeping spaces as well as the need for personalisation most influenced transformations. The latter largely accrued from implementing an owner-occupier policy of housing allocation. Economic reasons and home-based enterprises exerted the least influence on transformations. The implication on practice is that allocation strategies affect transformations within prototype housing thus designs need to be flexible to accommodate inevitable transformations. Public procurement processes also require urgent attention to address the low quality of construction and material finishes within prototype public housing in northern Nigeria. Planning policies will also need to factor in more economic related communal facilities around streets and markets as economic activities were observed to largely occur outside housing units. Urban policy will also benefit from similar studies of transformation within private housing as these constitute the bulk of housing supply in the country.