Mass Housing Space Indices and Adaptability in Owerri, Nigeria

  • Miriam Ijeoma Chukwuma-Uchegbu
Keywords: adaptation, design, end-user, mass housing, space plan, post-occupancy


A successful housing design is dynamic, meeting the needs and aspirations of the end-users. Public/mass housing has often been seen as the way to provide adequate and functional housing for the Nigerian populace by the government who have at various times flagged off housing programs such as incremental housing approach, site, and services schemes, public, private participation (PPP), international institutions assisted programs and the enabling shelter strategy as put together by the United Nations and the World Bank. The housing production was often based on the assumption of the needs and aspirations of the end-users wherein one size of housing was expected to fit all users. The resultant effect is the low level of satisfaction with the housing provision evidenced by: low initial uptake and outright underdevelopment/abandonment, various types of housing adjustments by housing occupants to accommodate their lifestyle preferences. Mass housing in the study area shows significant adjustments from the original plan in the interior exterior configurations. This study was limited to low-income mass housing development designed without prior input of the eventual occupiers. The scope covers the study of the post-occupancy performance of mass housing estates that are already in use in Owerri Metropolis Imo State, Nigeria. This research adopted both the quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative data based on the participants' responses using 550 structured and validated questionnaires were collected, reduced to numbers, and manipulated for statistical analysis. This paper investigated the indices of the residential space plan in the study area that results in dissatisfaction and the unabated spate of building adjustments for purpose of consideration in future housing development and policy. It advocated for pre-design research for sustainable mass housing that captures the needs, perceptions, and expectations of the users.