1.1 Background to the Study
Housing is recognized world-wide as one of the basic necessites of life and a pre requisite to survival of man (Onibokun, 1983; united Nations 1992, Saln (1990). A house is a place in which it provides sheltes, refuge, comfort, security, and dignity. The housing industry can be a stimulus to national economy (onibokun, 1983). A house also provides the physical framework in which human, social economic and cultural resources are realized and integrated. In the traditional African setting in particular housing is infact, one of the greatly cherished material properties. This is because of the other functions that a house performs in the traditional society includes the protection of family cohesion and values, taking care of the aged through the protection of the ancestral values, among others.
Over year now, Owerri urban has been witnessing sporadic increase in population which gave rise to rapid high demand of housing. The inability of the government to meet housing needs through the housing programs it introduced at different times at various levels of government coupled with the shambles of the city made it very difficult for citizens to afford adequate, accepted and conducive housing accommodation and it also gave rise to irregular housing developments.
Irregular settlements also have become so pervasive that they seem to outnumber legally, planned development, and their social legitimacy appears to be no longer in question. Unfortunately, the appalling environmental conditions associated with informal sector activities and settlements constitutes a major threat to he health and wellbeing of Owerri urban life.
The weaknesses of government planning controls and the haphazard developments associated with the informal sector have created disorderly and unhealthy urban environments.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
There is a shortage of legally planned housing in Owerri urban, which impacts on the opportunities and choices for the people. Without a range of suitable properties within a city, it is difficult to encourage sustainable community and maintain a urban, living country side. Developing a well-planned housing is one of the crucial issues that influences the economic and social strength of urban communities, and is a major contributor to long-term community sustainability.
There is also challenge of how to support and regulate the housing development in Owerri urban in order to promote employment, productivity, and income for the poor, and at the same time ensure a safe, healthy and socially acceptable environment. Informal sector enterprises, especial those located in residential areas, pose real health hazards for the urban community, particularly for the urban poor who can least afford the high cost health care.
Also there is problem of how to contain the adverse environmental impacts of many of the activities caused by the informal housing situation in Owerri urban without disrupting livelihoods, and causing social distress.
1.3 Aim And Objectives Of Study
The aim of this project is to assess the informal housing development in Owerri urban and for us to achieve this aim, the following objectives are identified,
- Knowing the housing situation in Nigeria.
- Assessing how people cope with housing situation in the study area.
- Examining government intervention towards housing provision in Nigeria.
- knowing the factors that are frequently responsible for the housing need in Owerri urban.
- Assessing the informal sector in housing development.
- Suggesting and recommending steps to be taken in solving the problems.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
This work reviews factors that participated in the expansion of irregular settlements in the city of Owerri. The central hypothesis is that popular urbanization in Owerri has gone through 3 stages. The first stage is characterized by the state and municipal governments authoritarian resonses to a settlement.
The second stage is characterized by the autonomy granted to the owners to sell parts of their lands and in the third stage, speculation or acquisition of more than one property becomes a motive for the appearance of more irregular settlement.
1.5 Scope Of Study
This study is concentrated on informal housing development in Nigeria with Owerri urban as the case study. They study covers mainly informal housing developments of individuals and private sectors in terms of residential buildings industrial, commercial properties and provision of modern amenities and conveniences in Owerri Urban precisely Owerri Nchi-ise which includes umuoroujo (aouglas( Amauwon (Tetlow0 umuoyima (Christ church) umuonyeche.
1.6 Limitation Of Study
Some factors had caused some constraints in the course of this study, constraints like;
The duration for this research work is to short for the study to be carried out in a more complex scope. In other words, the time needed to survey the area and collect data from sources is limited.
The limited resources available for carrying out this research work posed constraint during the research. There was data to be collected and interviews to be conducted but no enough resources to see me through it all.