Increasing housing affordability in Aba metropolis: a panacea for healthy living environment

  • Ben Ugochukwu Iwuagwu
  • Stephen Ikpendu Nwankwo
Research Article


The prime reason why people live in slum is because of their inability to afford decent and adequate housing. Housing is considered affordable if a household can live in it without sacrificing essentials such as food, clothing, transportation, and medical care. A commonly accepted guideline for housing affordability is a housing cost that does not exceed 30% of a household’s gross income. When the monthly carrying costs of a home exceed 30% of household income, the housing is considered unaffordable for that household. Income and cost are the primary factors that determine housing affordability. Therefore, understanding affordable housing challenges requires understanding disparities in income and wealth. In the study area income and cost are the primary causes of poor housing affordability, reason why majority of low income earners seek refuge in slum neighbourhoods. This paper studies five selected slum neighbourhoods in Aba Metropolis with the aim of improving housing affordability and healthy living environment for low income earners in Aba. Mixed research approach (quantitative and qualitative) was adopted in this study. Copies of questionnaire were administered to sample size of 400 respondents drawn using stratified systematic random sampling technique from the five selected slum neighbourhoods. The responses from the respondents were analysed using frequency table and bar chart. Findings of the paper are that, most of the urban population in the study area live in dehumanizing housing environment because of poor income and high cost of house rent while those that have access to decent housing do so at abnormal cost as the market has been unable to meet the growing demand for housing at affordable price. To reduce the cost of housing and increase its affordability in the study area the paper concludes by recommending use of alternative building materials for cost reduction in building construction in the study area to increase housing affordability and healthy living environment.


Housing affordability Alternative building materials Healthy living environment Slum 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Ugochukwu Iwuagwu
    • 1
  • Stephen Ikpendu Nwankwo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureAbia State PolytechnicAbaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureFederal University of TechnologyOwerriNigeria

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