Houses in the metropolis can be classified into about five types. These include: single storey traditional compound houses, multi-storey compound houses, government –built detached or semi-detached for low-income households, large single household houses built on relatively large plots and block of flats.Housing Environment
The housing environment in some parts of Kumasi especially Oforikrom, Moshie Zongo, Sawaba, Ayigya Zongo and Aboabo are unsightly and characterized by poor drainage and sanitation. Only about 51% of the resident use internal toilet facilities in their houses whiles 38% of them still use public toilets for which they pay between ¢200 and ¢500 per visit depending on the type of toilet facility. Others making up the remaining 11% use indiscriminate places as toilets.
Housing problems in Kumasi are qualitative and quantitative. The quality and quantity of housing are important factors affecting the health needs of the residents in Kumasi. Greater proportion of the population living in places like Ayigya Zongo (3,000), Moshie Zongo (9,000), Aboabo No.1 & 2 (10,000), Fanti New Town (20,503), Sawaba (6,000), Oforikrom (76,509), Sepe Timpon (7,235) and Anloga (39,060) all in Kumasi live in substandard housing. Housing quality extends beyond the availability of water and sanitation facilities.
The above-mentioned areas in the city experience health risks associated with substandard housing, which is also characterized by overcrowding, dampness, inadequate drainage and insufficient ventilation. All these are typical characteristics of housing environment in some parts of Kumasi city especially the pro-poor areas.Housing Stock
The 2000 Population Census kept the housing stock in the Metropolis at 67,434 and the regional housing stock at 328,751. In percentage terms therefore, Kumasi has 20.5 per cent of the regional housing stock.
The average household size stood at 5.1 whilst the average household per house was 3.4 with an average population per house of 17.3. The room occupancy rate was 2.7, which is above the U.N standard of 2.5, but below the national average of 3.0. With a population growth rate of 5.47% vis-à-vis an annual growth rate of the housing stock at 2.4, it is obvious that demand far exceeds supply.
The housing stock in the city can be classified into fairly homogeneous sectors on the basis of their physical characteristics and housing conditions. A study carried out in the metropolis identified four main housing sectors (Graham Tipple, 1984). These are;
- High Cost Sector (Low density high class area) (Nhyiaeso, Asokwa, Ridge, West Ayigya etc) 1 to 3 houses/hectare 50 persons/hectare
- Tenement Sector (High density medium class area) (Asafo, Amakom, Bantama, Dichemso etc) 5 to 7 houses/hectare 200 persons/hectare
- Indigenous Sector (High density low class area)
- Government Built Sector (Medium density medium class area) (eg. North & South Suntresu, Kwadaso Estate etc) 3 to 5 houses/hectare 100 persons/hectare
The current housing situation in the City is as follows;
Average households size 5.1
Average occupancy rates 2.7
Average No. of persons per house 25.7
Average No. of rooms per house 9.8
Housing supply in the city has been through two sources, the private sector and through Government programs for housing development. Graph 2 indicates the quantity of houses in the system as at the year 2000 and it indicates the various types available. All other types are provided by the private sector except the government types. Graph 3 gives the variations in percentages of the various types of houses in the city, the variations have shown that the percentage of indigenous houses have increased steadily over the period. There is the need for the city to provide more affordable houses to help solve the accommodation crisis.
The proportion of indigenous houses in the city has increased considerably and the proportion of government-financed houses has decreased. This shows that there is lack of government commitment in the provision of houses.
Currently the city’s population is growing at a rate of 5.47 per cent per annum whilst housing supply is growing at 2.9 per cent per annum. Obviously population growth far outstrips housing production and therefore supply of housing is still below the required demand. It has been estimated that 1 per cent increase in population requires about 3 per cent increase in infrastructure. The housing needs in the city are complex and varied. There is the need for spaces for work, home and recreational areas. It is important for the authorities to determine the direction of growth.
In a bid to sustain the decongestion of the city centre it will be prudent to develop the compact city approach and develop vibrant commercial centres, major health centres and other socially necessary facilities in all Sub Metropolitan areas. This would limit the need to travel across the length and breadth of the city for some basic necessities.
Housing tenure in Kumasi can be categorized into three, namely house owners, renters and occupants. Occupants, here represents a group of people who neither rent nor own the house, but live there. Some key housing problems have been identified in the development plan for Kumasi and these are;
Key challenges and opportunities
- About 70 per cent of all households in the city occupy single rooms – the highest in African cities except Lagos
- Average room – occupancy in the city is very high (2.7) depicting shortage of housing
- About 74 per cent of households rely on rental housing
- About 12,355 acquired plots (43 per cent) of all plots in the city are vacant
- About 24 per cent of all houses in the city are uncompleted
- Between 25 to 33 per cent of households in the city lack access to water, electricity, bathroom or toilet.
The above situation suggests a critical situation that needs immediate attention if the city is to compete effectively with others in the sub region as an investment destination. However it also suggests that, with an improvement in the economic situation the demand for new houses will continue to rise and construction opportunities will continue to grow. The Government’s policies towards the real estate sector would also attract investors in that direction, the missing link being access to funding which the stable macro economic environment may be able to address. To bring the city of Kumasi to the level envisaged requires a massive capital layout.Key Housing Problems
Some of the housing problems confronting the metropolis are;
- Inadequate in – house facilities in most of the houses eg. toilet facilities, electricity, water bathrooms, kitchen etc.
- High room occupancy rate of 2.7
- High average population per house of 17.3
- High percentage of the population rely on rental housing (74%)
- High cost of building materials
- High cost of building plots
- High cost of rent
For tables refer to pdf file attached