SPATIAL VARIATION IN HOUSING RENT IN PORT HARCOURT: CASE STUDY OF DIOBU MILESI, II, III AND MAINTOWN

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SPATIAL VARIATION IN HOUSING RENT IN PORT HARCOURT:

CASE STUDY OF DIOBU MILESI, II, III AND MAINTOWN

ABSTRACT

The survey titled spatial variation in Housing prices (rent) in Port Harcourt wit main town, Diobu Miles I. II. And III as the case study areas’’ was to find out the characteristics of houses owned and occupied by Landlords and tenants, and also to know the facilities and amount charged in the study area. In order to know if rent charged pain is related to the number of facilities in the house and it the observed variation in rent in the neighbourhoods is the same or different from the edict stipulated rent.

          The survey revealed that majority of the respondents are of the low income class and mostly traders earning less than N200 month. The survey also revealed that obscured variation in rent in the neighbourhoods have no relationship with the facilities provided in the house and that observed variation in rent is incongruent with rent edict stipulated prices, which is a regulation by the government to bring down the rent paid in the neighbourhood finally some recommendations were made.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Although mankind has made unprecedented progress in industries, education, and the sciences, the simple refuge which affords privacy and protection against the elements in still beyond the reach of most members of human race (Abrams, 1964).

          Thus, all over the world, one of the major problems facing all mankind is that of housing. The problems facing all mankind is that of housing. The problems include shortage of adequate housing units, high cost of housing which leads to congestion, and overcrowding to mention a few.

The magnitude of the problem is more in developing countries, here the low income earners worst hit.

          In Nigeria most urban countries are faced with serious housing shortages both quantitatively and qualitatively. This is manifested in high house rent as a result of the limited quantity of existing stock.

          The Nationwide housing problems is evident in Port Harcourt which is one of the country’s major urban centres. According to the 1975 master plan of Port Harcourt, the city is characterised by a severe housing shortage, general overcoming and large disparities in living standards between different areas. This is as a result of population growth and migration to the city prompted by job opportunities and the widening gap between urban and rural wages. This influx of migrants into the city intensified the shortage of dwelling houses in the city leading to high rent, slum and overcrowding.

          The problem of housing does not affect the high income groups as much as it affects the low income group. The high income group with their high purchasing power live in planned, low density residential areas with basic infrastructures and housing facilities while the low income group with their low purchasing power live in overcrowded, unplanned high density neighbourhoods with little or no facilities and infrastructures such as good roads, pipe borne water, educational and health institutions.

          Normally the rent paid for a house depends on the location, cost, type, age, size and facilities in a house. This results in spatial variation in rent, which also affects the spatial distribution of population in a city. Based on this concept, the best housing stock tend to be inhibited by the high income households in the city who are in minority. This results in low

Density in some areas. On the hand substandard housing is inhibited by the poor who are in the majority. They tend to be attracted to areas of substandard housing conditions which their income can afford leading to congestion, overcrowding the above, low income persons tend to pay more for their housing. To offset this and make housing rent within the reach of low income tenants several state governments enacted rent control edicts. For example the Rivers State Government (as other states of the federation) enacted rent control edicts in 1979 to solve the problem of high rent. The edict (see Appendix 1) stipulated the amount money to be paid by tenants in the various residential areas shown in figure 2.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

          Despite these edicts, it is assumed that some landlords tend to charge rent different from the provisions of the rent edict; there is also the belief that there is variation in rent in areas under the same zone and the same type of houses, houses with few facilities even tend to charge more than those with many facilities. But these have been empirically examined.

1.3    STUDY OBJECTIVES:

Objectives of this study, therefore are:

  • To examine the spatial variation in house rent in these areas-Port Harcourt Main-town and Diobu, Miles I. II, and III, and account for the differences in the rent paid by tenants in the neighbourhoods.
  • To know if observed variation in rent is very much different from the rent stipulated in the rent edicts.

1.4    METHODOLOGY:

          The study is based on primary and secondary source of data. Data on house rent as stipulated by the rent control edict was got from the 1984 official gazette of rivers State government. Other sources of data includes Port Harcourt master plan and rivers State Projected population from population census of 1963; Eastern volume National Population Commission, Port Harcourt.

Data on income, rent and characteristics of housing was from a field interview carried out in March, 1987, using questionnaires. A total of one hundred and ten questionnaires were administered and one hundred and six were completed and returned.

          The questionnaires were administered in three streets in each of the four case study areas. The streets were chosen, using a street map of Port Harcourt. The streets were chosen, using a street map of Port Harcourt. The streets in each study area in the map was divided in three equal strates and street is chosen at the middle of each strata, in such a way that the three streets chosen in each strata, in such a way that the three streets chosen in each study areas are located far away from each other.

          In Port Harcourt Main town, Pott Johnson, Captain amangala and Bonny streets were chosen; in Midle 1 – Emenike, Kalabari and Sangana Sttreets were chosen; in Mile II Azikiwe, Ojoto and Adepabu streets were chosen and in MIle III wobo, Ihioma and Omuma streets were chosen.

          The questionnaires were administered in the above named streets, using systematic sampling method. Questionnaires were given to the Landlord and a tenant on every forth house on a street. Where the Landlord was not available, a tenant in the house was given a questionnaire.

          The questionnaires were filled for uneducated respondents by ticking the answers given by respondents in the appropriate boxes; some were filled by respondents themselves and the questionnaires were collected on the spot except on a few cases where I told to drop the questionnaires and come for it later.

The data was analysed using per centages.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY:

The study will provide a better understanding of the relationship between rent paid by tenants and the services provided in the residential areas in the city if Port Harcourt.

1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY:

          The project is based on four residential areas of Port Harcourt, namely: Port Harcourt main town, Diobu Miles I, II, and III. These four residential areas have been chosen of all the residential areas in Port Harcourt because they contained over half of the total population of Diobu Harcourt in 1973. The projected population of Diobu and main town in 1986 are 247, 289 and 75, 535 out of a total population of 668, o24. This means they contain about 48 percent of the population of Port Harcourt.

They also have highest density of population in the city and majority of the low income class reside in these parts of the city.

          Knowing the variation of rents paid by the residents of these areas, particularly how the rent differ from the rent edicts of the government, will help in formulating realistic policies for housing low and moderate income people in the city.

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