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The need to assess the various variables towards individuals housing construction as well
as their sources of funding is imperative. Thus, the impact of finance through the granting
of loans and funding to individuals to encourage housing development as well as urban
development cannot be overemphasized. The study examines access to finance for housing
development in Zaria urban area. It assesses the challenges of source of finance for housing
development. The study utilizes clustered and random methods of sampling to select the
neighbourhoods, households and the institutions for data collection. The data collected through
the structured instrument was subjected to descriptive and statistical analysis. The study
reveals that mortgage finance is not a major source of finance for housing development
and that the majority of the respondents are not significantly aware of mortgage finance
as a source of funds for housing development. It was also observed that informal source
is the major source of finance for the low-income earner and that the level of access to
finance for housing development is very low. It further shows that funds obtained from
cooperatives societies for housing development are often insufficient. The study
recommends that public awareness should be embarked upon for mortgage finance and
the stringent conditions required for housing loan should be reviewed. Also, the
integration of the formal and informal mechanisms for effective access to finance is
Key Words: housing, housing finance, mortgage, cooperative societies, NHTF, Zaria
urban area.



Housing problem is a global phenomenon confronting developed and developing, rich
and poor nations Agbola (2007). Habitat (1990) emphasizes that in all countries,
regardless of the average standard of living, there is a large section of the population that
cannot afford what could be regarded as an adequate standard of housing. As a result, a
substantial part of the population has to live in accommodation that is severally
substandard, shanty towns, and slums. Many reknowned scholars of urban science
(Castells, Burgess, Hall, Turner, Abu-Lughod, Mabogunje and so on) as well as
distinguished regional and international organization (United Nations Habitat, World
Society of Ekistics, the World Bank etc.) concerned with urbanisation and housing at
global levels, have long expressed immense anxieties over the alarming nature and
dimensions of the housing problems in the nations of the developing world. Highly
recognized among the most crucial corollaries of unplanned and dependant urbanisation
is the urban housing crisis pervading the primary and large regional secondary cities of
the fast and medium developing categories of the third world nations (Lagos, Rio de
Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Cairo, New Delhi, Karachi etc.). This crisis situation in
its integrated form has surpassed the terrains of the social sphere, reproducing itself in the
economic, political and environmental processes of these nations of the third world,
Nigeria not an exemption. Thus, owing to rapid population growth, low economic
capacity of most urban households, inadequacy of public resources, and a general increase in the cost of building, acute housing and environmental conditions abound in
urban centres.
The housing sector plays a more critical role in a country’s welfare than is always
recognized, as it directly affects not only the well-being of the citizenry, but also the
performance of other sectors of the economy. Adequate housing provision has since the
early 1970s consequently engaged the attention of most countries, especially the
developing ones, for a number of reasons. First it is one of the three most important basic
needs of mankind the others being food and clothing. Second, housing is a very important
durable consumer item, which impacts positively on productivity, as decent housing
significantly increases workers’ health and well being, and consequently, growth. Third,
it is one of the indices for measuring the standard of living of people across societies.
Provision of houses for urban dwellers is a major challenge in developing countries,
especially in sub-saharan African. Among the many factors influencing housing
provision in developing countries, finance is the most important. Adequate finance is
therefore the first requirement for successful and effective housing delivery in any nation.
This is because at every stage of construction money is needed to lease land, prepare
plans and to hire labour as well as to purchase the various materials and infrastructure to
be installed in the houses. The importance of housing finance in housing delivery is
stressed by Agbola (1998), who asserted that “without well organized and efficient
housing finance mechanism, the goal of housing development policy will be largely
unattainable”. The issue of adequate finance is therefore central to adequate housing
supply in all nations of the world.
Realizing that the continuous flow of fund was the main factor impeding housing
financing in Nigeria, the federal government enacted the 1992 National Housing
Fund(now National Housing Trust Fund) which made it mandatory for certain categories
of workers to contribute some percentage of their income to the fund. The NHTF is one
of the key strategies towards the achievement of the National Housing Policy
1991(revised in 2001, 2006 and 2011). But, it is arguable if the mandate for establishing
the agency has been satisfactorily performed.
Housing finance by its very nature is a capital intensive venture which if it is to be
financed through personal source will require slow and tedious accumulation of savings.
In order to deal with these problems, government has pursued a range of successive
programmes and policies. One of such programmes as contained in the National Housing
Policy (2006) is providing fund for housing development through housing and mortgage
finance institutions. Long term credit facility for home acquisition is supposed to come
from two sources; one being the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and the second
being the private financial institutions. The NHTF operates on a depository arrangement
whereby civil servants and self employed persons contribute 2.5% of their monthly
income into the fund through their employers or directly to the federal mortgage Bank of
Nigeria in order to access the loan. The concept is to ensure continuous flow of long term
fund for housing development and to provide affordable loan for housing.
Different studies have been conducted on the sources of finance for housing development
in Nigeria. Such studies by Onibokun, (1985), Falegan (1985), Kumuyi and
Onibokun(1990), Agbola (1998), Omirin(1998) Fasakin (1998), William (2002);
Jaiyeoba and Amole (2002), Olusola, Aina and Ata (2002) Oduwaye et al (2008), Nubi (2006) focused more on the structure and operational framework of the housing finance
institutions without much information on the level of access to finance for housing
development. From observation, the number of Nigerians that have registered for the
National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) is low. According to Sanusi (2003), there is
evidence of declining activities in housing finance generally and there are 9million
workers who are to be registered and therefore not making contribution. But despite this
decline, housing developments are being embarked upon by Nigerians. Recently in
Zaria, there is an upsurge in the number of residential layouts and new developments
across residential neighbourhoods of Hanwa new extension, Zango new extension,
Kabama residential layout, Hayin Danyaro, the new settlement behind Nigeria College of
Aviation Technology, (Zaria Graceland), Gabari residential layout and Juchi waje. There
is little information on the contribution of housing finance institutions to housing
development in this town. The performance of the various housing finance institutions
cannot be adequately measured if the issue of accessibility to finance by the people is not
determined. It is this issue that the study seeks to investigate in Zaria Urban area.
The study therefore, sets out to answer the following questions:
1. What are the sources of fund for housing development in Zaria urban area?
2. How are people accessing fund for housing development in Zaria urban area?
3. What are the challenges associated with accessing fund for housing development in
Zaria urban area?
1.3.1 AIM
The aim of this research is to assess access to finance for housing development in Zaria
urban area.
1. To review the concept of housing finance and the implication for housing
2. To examine sources and access to finance for housing development in Zaria urban
3. To examine the challenges to accessing housing finance for housing development in
Zaria urban area.
4. To make workable recommendations for sustainable housing finance in Zaria urban
The study is significant in many respects. It is hoped that this study will contribute to the
process of developing a better housing finance strategy that will be more accessible to all
Nigerians. The study aspire to meanifully contributes towards a better understanding of
how fund for housing development is being accessed in Zaria urban area. This will lead
to a more accurate result of the rate at which housing finance and mortgage is being
accessed. Furthermore, it will contribute to the growing debate of making housing policy
more responsible to the housing affordability of the people. The study will also contribute
towards improving the current shortage of data on the level of access to housing finance
and mortgage in Nigeria which will be useful to policy makers and researchers.
The study seeks to examine access to finance for housing development in Zaria urban
area. It is limited to answering the following questions: what are the sources of finance
for housing development in Zaria urban area and what are the challenges of accessing
finance for housing development in Zaria urban area. The study excludes the assessment
of the various housing financial institutions. Only eight residential neighborhoods
(Hanwa new extension, Graceland-the new settlement behind Nigeria College of
Aviation Technology, Zango new extension, Kabama settlement and Juchi waje, Gabari
layout, Rafi sidi and Hayin danyaro) within the four districts that make up Zaria urban
area is taken as the spatial dimension.
1.6.1 Location and Size
Zaria Urban Area is located between latitude 100 57’ 36” N and 110 15’ 32” N, longitude
70 39’ 00”E and 70 53’ 02”E. It is about 85km north of Kaduna. The urban area is made
up of two local governments: Sabon Gari and Zaria. (Fig. 1.1 and 1.2). Zaria is one of the
seven Hausa States, and it is situated in the southern part of Hausaland in Northern
Nigeria. It is the administrative headquarter of Zazzau Kingdom.
The population of Zaria at the 2006 census figure is put at 695,069 (FGN 2007). This
figure ranks Zaria second only to Kaduna in the state. This population is shared by the
two local government areas, that is, Zaria and Sabon Gari as shown in Table 1.1. Due to
the fact that official population assessment in Nigeria reflects administrative boundaries
rather than settlements, this population figure also capture rural areas that are at the
periphery but whose jurisdiction falls within Zaria and Sabon Gari Local Government

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