Its history is inseparable from the social, economic, cultural and political development of man (Listing et al. , 2007).
As a unit of environment, it has a profound influence on the health, efficiency, social behavior, satisfaction, productivity and general welfare of the individual and community. It reflects the cultural social and economic values of a society as it appears the best physical and historical evidence of civilization in a country and a reliable measure or indicator of economic development (Jibe, 2009) NECESSITY OF HOUSING Housing has been universally accepted as the second most important essential human need.The right to adequate housing is considered a core human right.
Housing rights were first universally codified on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Article 25 of the Declaration states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being for himself and for his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control” The 1 976 InternationalCovenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which is now binding on more than 149 countries, including Nigeria, has the most significant universal codification provision of the right to adds Tate housing in its article ) which states: “The State Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living of himself and for his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.The State Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent” The Nigerian State is enjoined by Section 16(1 )(d) of the 1 999 Constitution under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy: “to provide suitable and adequate shelter for all citizens”. Regrettably, this objective of State policy is not actionable in law as no citizen can enforce it as a right.
Because housing is a right, this fundamental objective should be part and parcel of a section of the Constitution enforceable by Nigerian. It should therefore be removed from and under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. The Constitutional provision which should be actionable shall be such that all strata of our society – including the less privileged members, the old, the disadvantaged as well as the wandering psychotics who require confinement and rehabilitation – can own or have access to decent, safe and sanitary housing accommodation at affordable disposal price or house occupation with secure tenure.Housing, in all Its ramifications, is more than mere shelter, since it embraces all the social services and utilities that go to make a community or neighborhood a livable environment. The problems Of housing in Nigeria re enormous and complex, exhibiting marked regional differences.
Furthermore, the challenges faced by the rapid rate of uncontrolled and unplanned urban growth are immense. Millions of people live in sub-standard and sub-human environment characterized by slum, squalor and grossly inadequate social amenities.The problem of housing in our urban centers is not only restricted to the quantity of housing stock, but also to the quality of available housing units, infrastructure and the environment.
The result is manifested in growing overcrowding in homes, neighborhoods, communities and increasing pressure on infrastructural facilities such as odds, drainages, power supply, etc and rapidly deteriorating environment.The scenario is slightly different in the rural areas where the problems are primarily, not just that of inadequate quantity of housing units, but also that Of inadequate and poor infrastructural facilities, such as roads, drainages, water, power supply and basic social amenities (schools, healthcare facilities, etc). Another important characteristic of both the urban and rural scenes is the absence of the basic needs of the poor and low-income groups.The housing sector in Nigeria contributes an insignificant 0.
38% to its GAP. These countries rose to become the greatest advanced economies on the tide of housing development. Home ownership is a measure of household wealth and GAP. It is generally accepted that the standard of housing in a nation indexes its effective economic development; standard of living and its height of civilization. The housing sector has the potential to generate employment, increase productivity, raise standard of living and alleviate poverty.It also has the capacity to reduce crime rate, insurrections, militancy, and terrorism and substantially address wealth distribution as well as security concerns. It is able to achieve this because investment in housing affects all facets of our life wrought its multiplier effect on economic development through forward linkages to the financial markets and backward linkages to land, building materials, tools, furniture and Labor markets.
An example is that the construction of a medium sized (2/3 bedrooms) bungalow is capable of directly creating employment for an average of 76 workers. The number goes up significantly when the forward and backward linkages are factored into the process. Therefore for a 1 000 housing units scheme of two bedroom bungalows, up to 76,000 workers will be engaged for a period of between 12-18 months. Accordingly, if in a year we build a 1000-housing unit estate in each of the 36 States of the Federation and FACT, we would create a workforce of 2,81 5,000 per annum.This labor force consists of all professionals in the built environment as well as skilled and unskilled labor namely: Bricklayers, Plumbers, Carpenters, Tillers, Iron benders, Painters, Diggers, Excavators, Electricians, Suppliers of materials, Furniture makers, Food vendors, Block molders, Security men, Drivers, Horticulturists, Gardeners, etc. At the Presidential Job Creation Summit held on 12th April 2011, the NationalEconomic Management Team (.NET) declared that through the construction of 5,000 housing units in each State of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FACT), 14,000,000 Jobs will be created in 12 to 18 months.
Therefore, the housing sector of the economy has a tremendous impact on job creation, employment, security, socio-political stability, effective economic growth and development of societies. Governments all over the world device various strategies to meet all these important concern.