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AN EVALUATION OF THE CHALLENGES TO PROVIDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN NIGERIA
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ABSTRACT The context of this research study is provison of afforedable housing for Nigerians especially for the low income households. Housing is the provision of shelter; an abode to live in. Shelter should be adequate, affordable and decent. Adequate in that there are enough good quality rental and owner occupier housing units for low income families. Affordable in that total housing costs are affordable to those that have low income. Decent in that it provides a foundation for good physical and mental health, personal development and fulfillment of life objectives. Affordable housing is however a major problem here in Makurdi. Informal settlements and slums have continued to grow and a large percentage of the urban population lives here. The slums are characterized by congested tin roofed and mud houses. There is also poor infrastructure with regards to sewerage system, electricity, clean water and access roads. The overall demand for housing according to a UN Habitat survey is 150,000 housing units as compared to 35,000 housing units being delivered in the market. The supply shortage has left private developers focusing on highest return market segments which are the upper income class. It has been cited that the housing problem cannot be solved starting at the bottom because the poor will still be overshadowed. Houses meant for the lower end could still be snapped up by individuals in the higher income class thereby distorting prices and displacing the target market. The solution would be for the government and socially motivated entrepreneurs to offer homes for the bottom end of the market while commercial players and maximum profit driven entrepreneurs take care of the upper income segment (Macharia, 2011). The research study focused on the challenges faced by housing developers in the low income market. Challenges identified included the high cost of land in urban areas, the complicated land acquisition process, high transaction costs, outdated planning and building regulations, and the lack of adequate infrastructure.