In line with its vision of transforming ideas into solutions; The Centre promotes world class, multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary academic research across topical areas in the built environment. Application of contemporary research methodologies within tested paradigms in carrying out scholarly or scientific investigations or inquiry will form the basis of academic research. Identification of gaps in policy instruments and bottlenecks in practice; recommendation and exploration of remedial actions and corrective strategies are the key research strategies of the Centre.
A. SECTOR: REGENERATION AND ADVOCACY
Project Title: A Co-Production approach to support the redevelopment of low-income housing estates in Lagos, Nigeria. (Using The Ilasan Redevelopment Project).
Aim and Objectives
A research into co-production strategies for addressing urban informality, unlawful eviction and slum redevelopment with the Ilasan Redevelopment Project as the first study area. The redevelopment of this slum estate, housing over two thousand households in makeshift and dilapidated housing provided significant opportunities for bottom-up approach to regeneration. It was a strong community-led project which will deliver decent housing for over two thousand households forcefully evicted from their ancestral lands/homes in Maroko in the 1990s.
An enumeration and verification exercise (E.V.E) is a fundamental part of the Ilasan redevelopment project, Lekki. Enumeration was needed to provide data needed for other key components of the project such as finance structuring, business case preparation, feasibility and viability appraisals, housing reallocation amongst others. The verification exercise is vital to establishing the claims of rights of residents and determining the exact number of allottees.
The strategy for this aspect of the redevelopment exercise is based on a comprehensive, enumeration coverage of all residents of Ilasan and the verification of the titles they hold. The enumeration survey has produced a comprehensive database for the re-planning and redevelopment of the settlement; with data emanating from household demographic data, housing preference surveys, financial surveys as well as physical condition surveys. The Co-production approach was utilized in actualizing this exercise.
The combined E.V.E took place over a three day period. Verification continued on selected days at the Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos to enable people who were not available at the Estate come around for the exercise.
Comprehensive Enumeration covered:
- Occupancy status of residents
- Household demographic survey
- Existing dwelling condition survey
- Socio-economic/credit worthiness survey
- Housing preference survey
Physical, Social and Economic Infrastructure survey
- Baseline physical, social and economic infrastructure survey
- Infrastructure need assessment
- Identification of residents process
- Inspection of residents’ documents process
B. SECTOR: HOUSING FINANCE
Project title: Funding housing delivery in Nigeria through three alternative real estate investment tools.
Research Aim and Objectives
The primary aim of this action-research is to determine the strength and ability of three real estate investment tools as options for providing affordable and accessible housing delivery funds in Nigeria.
The tools include:
Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) – an existing capital market tool.
Real estate-backed bonds/Sukuk – a potential, currently undeveloped capital market tool in Nigeria.
Real estate portfolios – a potential, currently undeveloped money market tool IN Nigeria.
The objectives are as follows:
- To assess the performance of existing instruments as option(s) for generating pools of investment funds.
- To test the potential market acceptability of alternative real estate investment tools as instruments for generating pools of investment funds.
- To determine the volume of residential units that these investment portfolios may deliver yearly.
- To determine the average cost of funds for these funding instruments.
- To determine the average yield (interest/profit/coupon) on these instruments.
- To determine the viability of these instruments in key commercial cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt; and also Kano, Kaduna and Enugu.
C. SECTOR: HOUSING SUPPLY
Project title: Co-operative Societies and Housing Supply in Lagos State
Project Summary: The severity of the housing supply deficit in Nigeria has necessitated the participation if co-operative societies in the housing sector. However, their activities have remained under-researched. The aim of this thesis is to establish the scope and constraints of co-operatives’ housing supply activities in order to develop a set of guidelines that would integrate them as functional housing suppliers in Lagos State. Objectives of the study are: one, to assess the current activities of co-operative societies in housing supply; two, to determine constraints to their participation; three, to examine differences in constraints experienced by employment based and non-employment based co-operatives and four, to examine success factors of co-operative societies that have successfully developed housing on their land. Objective five recommends an action plan for their effective participation in housing supply.
The study adopts an explanatory, sequential QUAN-qual mixed method design that starts with a major, quantitative study, followed by a smaller scale qualitative study. For the quantitative phase, a survey based on systematic random sampling of co-operative leaders was carried out; a total of six hundred questionnaires were distributed with response rate of seventy five percent being achieved. For objectives one, two and three, analysis was done with descriptive and inferential statistics with the use of independent T-tests and multivariate techniques. For the qualitative aspect, a Focus Group Discussion was carried out and analysis done with a computer software. This was carried for objectives one, two and four. Integration of results was utilized to achieve objective five. Findings show that co-operative societies are most active in land acquisition activities but are constrained by eight categories of constraints such as production costs, pre-construction costs, issues in member involvement and lack of external support, amongst others. Findings also show that across the three activity areas (land, finance and housing construction); employment based co-operatives are more active in the housing supply process than non-employment based co-operatives. However, seven crucial success factors for co-operative societies’ involvement in housing supply were discovered; These provide fresh policy directions for the sector. The study concludes with the development of a time-bound, integrative action-plan to release thousands of co-operative housing units in Lagos State.
D. SECTOR: HOUSING REGENERATION
Project title: Housing Master-plan Research
Project Summary: The need for a Housing Master Plan for Lagos State is inevitable, coming at a time in which the city’s population growth is assuming a geometrical proportion but the provision of accommodation to meet this demand is not at a commensurate level. This has resulted in acute qualitative and quantitative housing shortages. Interestingly, the estimation of the needs and supply of housing in Lagos has been based on assumptions and expert guesses without any rigorous analytical framework. Many of such estimations do not take into account the many socio-economic characteristics and typology of the residents and the current state of housing stock in each of the state’s local governments. Hence a uniform model is usually adopted in housing provision with suboptimal results.
Our Housing Master-Plan is hinged on a multidisciplinary, synergistic approach that will provide a sound basis for housing supply across all Local Governments in Lagos State. It is an intensive data collection exercise that will produce a comprehensive guide for private investors seeking entry or entrenchment in the Lagos housing market, government agencies seeking policy direction in various activities and donor organizations wishing to support improved housing conditions and supply in the state; as well as researchers and other interested members of the general public.
This proposal is based on eight concentration areas (themes) for the preparation of a Housing Master plan. This ranges from baseline surveys on demographic data and housing stock to GIS-based land mapping and intensive Housing market analysis.
It is envisaged that on implementation, the master plan will create an avenue for enriching decision-making processes at all critical policy levels.
There is significant scope for long term collaboration with interested stakeholders on this project.
E. SECTOR: HOUSING REGENERATION
Project title: Regeneration of waterfront slum communities in Lagos State
In many developing countries, the development opportunities of the waterfront remain underutilized. For instance, from Oyingbo to Ikorodu, the waterfront of Lagos State is characterized by a series of historical fishing villages that have witnessed intense population growth, culminating into a textual character typical of slum communities. Hence, we find a series of informal settlers on land that is highly prone to eviction and flooding, waters contaminated by sewage disposal and industrial effluents, inadequate and impoverished housing, dearth of infrastructure, untapped economic potentials and in many cases, providing a haven for social problems.
These problems seem to have belied the opportunities inherent in waterfront areas; and thus require urgent attention. However, waterfront regeneration projects have been generally criticized as being mostly economic-centered; creating communities that are not socially inclusive while disenfranchising existing communities from the gains of regeneration. Not surprisingly, previous attempts of slum regeneration in Lagos in particular, have been greeted with widespread social unrest and political mudslinging based on forceful eviction of massive numbers of households.
This research project adopts the co-production model to respond to the need to create a bottom-up process for the repair of these waterfront communities, producing communities that are socially just and environmentally friendly, while also ensuring that financial investments to improve the area remain viable.