n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Home and psycho-social benefits : the case of public housing in Lagos, Nigeria

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



Housing encompasses a bundle of benefits that are integral to personal and family well-being. This paper reviews the literature on the meaning of the home and links this with the psycho-social benefits derived by residents, and how these can be assessed through empirical research. A survey measuring psycho-social benefits was conducted to a systematic sample of 760 household-heads in eight public housing estates in Lagos, Nigeria. Four factors were derived from the responses to the survey, relating to the home as a hearth, as heart, as a locus of autonomy and as a source of status for the residents. Findings reveal that housing tenure is less significant as a predictor of psychosocial benefits from the home than the neighbourhood context and the physical characteristics of housing. In addition, the factors negatively associated with psycho-social benefits appear to be more significant than those factors positively associated with such benefits. This implies that what detracts from psycho-social benefits may be more important than what contributes to them. The study also found that, after controlling for other influences, people living in bungalow housing units derive more benefits from the home as a hearth and as a locus of autonomy than households in multi-apartment blocks of flats. These findings are pertinent to the design of more fitting and appropriate home environments.

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