Background study on housing

Essentially, housing is universally acknowledged as one of the two basic human needs which are food and shelter. Housing has no strict definition because its definition might depends on circumstances which might be social cultural or financial.

Housing generally refers to the social problem of ensuring that members of society have a home in which to live, whether this is a house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging or shelter (Gwendolyn, 1983 as sited in housing, 2017).

According to Olojoba (2009), housing implies the structures and the other services that make living in a building comfortable e.g. road, electricity, water and open space etc. housing may also be described as a product of highly complex nature, a fixed location. It is used only in the place where it is built and once built it needs to have a long span.

The expert committee on the aspect of housing which is  committee of World Health Organization (WHO) in 1961 defined housing as the residential environment, neighbourhood or the physical structure that mankind uses for shelter and the environment of that structure including all necessary services, facilities, equipment, devices including physical health, social and mental wellbeing of the family and individual.

According to Olojoba (2007), housing or building contributes in no small measure to the wellbeing of man. As a unit of environment, it has profound influence on the health efficiently social behaviour, satisfaction and general welfare of the individual and community. Predictably, health problems such as overcrowding, ineffective solid waste and sewage disposal; are common features in the cities. These conditions contribute immensely to ill-health conditions such as accidents, diseases like tuberculosis, cerebrospinal meningitis, common cold and behavioural and social problems(Parrisk, 2005).

According to Olorunda and Aibor (2000), a house may be defined as a building or premises constructed within laid down build regulations to occupy person or persons and their personal effects, possessing all the necessary sanitary conveniences, providing comfort, shelter, privacy, protecting and elongating life and preventing disease associated with housing.

World Health Organization [WHO] (2002), defined housing as a physical structure including all necessary facilities, services, equipments and devices needed or design for physical, mental and social wellbeing of the family and individual. Housing units are designed for the habitation of a maximum number of inhabitants, if this number is exceeded; the housing unit automatically becomes a common or feature of rapid developing society of the world today.



Aibor, M. S. & Olorunda, J.O. (2007). A technical handbook of environmental health in the 21st century for professionals & students. Lagos: Divine Favour Publishers.

Housing (2017).Retrieved from

World Health Organization (2002). Article II of the international convention on economic and cultural right.

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