Housing Affordability of State Civil Servants in Calabar, Nigeria


  • A.M Alabi
  • D.O. Hungbeji


The global proportion of urban population has been on the increase since 1900 and it is expected to rise to 60% and 66% by 2030 and 2050 respectively. This high rate of population growth coupled with huge capital outlay required to develop housing made housing to be scarce and unaffordable. This paper examines rental housing affordability of civil servants in Calabar, Nigeria. The concept of affordability guided this study and cross-sectional survey research design was adopted. Secondary and primary data were used. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to sample 302 civil servants from the existing nine ministries and thirty-six parastatals in Cross Rivers state. A structured questionnaire was used to collect primary data. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The sex distribution of respondents indicates that male and female constituted 73.5% and 26.5% respectively. The middle-income brackets of between N40, 000 - N65, 000 and N65, 001 - N95, 000 jointly constitute 65.5% of the total respondents. The major factors that influence choice of rental housing according to 70.2% respondents were location, security, quality of housing, rent paid and neighbourhood characteristics. It was observed that between 2004 and 2017, rent increased, averagely on two years basis but salaries of civil servants were reviewed once (2013). The rent of a single room which stood at N16, 000 in 2004 increased to N32, 000 (an increase of 100%) in 2008 and further increased to N65, 000 in 2017. No civil servant earned enough housing allowance to pay his or her house rent. The percentages of mean annual rents paid as housing allowances for civil servants on grade levels 13 and 17 were 73.14% and 86.53% respectively. Housing allowances for workers on grade levels 10 to 13 range between 224,056.00 and 292,569.00 but to have access to 2 or 3-bedroom flats. There was significant difference between mean housing allowances and mean annual rents (t=-14.755). There was a very strong positive relationship (r=0.952) between ‘mean housing rent’ and ‘mean housing allowances’. House rents paid by most civil servants on grade levels 01- 14 were not adjudged to be affordable. These categories of workers spent between 37% and 87% of the salaries on rental housing. Civil servants on GLs 15 to 17 appeared to be the workers who can afford rental prices when juxtaposed with their annual incomes without considerations for other household expenditures. The growing problems of rental housing affordability among civil servants has brought into focus the need for housing researcher and policy makers to develop a better understanding of the operation of urban rental housing market