Social problems, also known as social issues affect every community in a society may it be small or big. Social problem refers to condition that some people in the community view as being undesirable. Experts identify those conditions which are unsuited with the desired quality of life, and analyze the cause of those situations. Social problems directly or indirectly have an effect on many members of the society. Therefore, public opinion should be used to settle on the quality of life preferred by people. The list of social problems is vast and not the same from area to area. The most predominant social include pollution, unemployment, poverty, unplanned pregnancy, abortion, and conflicts between ethnic groups. This paper will focus on what new initiatives can be suggested to curb the failure of the government in providing adequate low-income and poverty-level housing.
The low income earners are made up of people earning their living on the informal sector of the economy, living on less than 1$ (US) a day. Their level of education, sanitation, water and electricity supply is lower than that of the medium and high-income earners. Their annual income is 20% or below the maximum annual income of the highest salary grade level at any given time, within the civil service structure. Shelter is essential to everyone and the provision of housing as a mean of solving one of the urban problems is one of the concerns of town planning. United Nations encompass the housing unit and the whole ancillary services as well as community facilities that are necessary for human well being.
Low income groups in the society have a far substandard of housing compared to the rest of the population. Poverty is one of the factors that most defines the lives of low-income peoples in almost every region of the world. Poverty leaves people with no mean to sustain and gain a livelihood and consequently cannot provide good houses. Other factors responsible for housing problems include:
- Depriving marginalized, slum dwellers and low-income earners, the chances they need to achieve their own self development.
- The cost of production of houses by state is almost doubled that by individual himself
- Programs and plans allocated to the low-income earners, end with land speculators and require long and complicated bureaucratic procedures and cost prior to being developed, thus driving the low-income earners to look outside the state’s land allocation system to the unofficial ones.
- The housing process is complex, lengthy and has lots of unnecessary bureaucratic hindrance
- Te government-constructed houses for low-income earners lack maintenance programs to provide enough housing.
Initiatives that contribute to extend the favor to poorer communities, low-income earners, marginalized groups and slum dwellers should be enhanced. These initiatives include:
Initiating integrated programs for the enhancement of low-income earners and poor houses More flexible lending instruments modified to the nature of programs should be enhanced, to facilitates the formulation of new interventions combining national sectoral policies, macroeconomic stabilization, and integrated programs to improve the urban environment and alleviate poverty. These programs should involve capacity building of low-income earners, local governments and CBOs, encouraging transparency and accountability in governance, participatory processes of all and increase involvement of private sectors and civil societies in projects aimed to improve the state of low-income earners and the poverty-level housing thus improving the informal settlement. This is to allow self employment among people so as to help them earn their own capital for the sake of self development
Providing access to land, infrastructure, and urban services are a leading factor contributing to the advancement of sanitation among slum dwellers, deterioration of conditions in the settlement due to overcrowding and rise in densities of people in a given area and highly sharing of inadequate facilities. Ample access of roads, drainage and transport integrate minor and marginalized settlements in the urban economy. This necessitates opening up of employment and income generation opportunities thus, improving the poor housing systems and low-income earner’s situations
Instituting involvement of all people in decision making of urban activities addressing marginalized people is essential in improving informal settlement. Involving all people in decision making of matters related to low-income and poverty level housing is vital. This is because these are the people who experience these problems and therefore they need to air their problems and ensure they are listed to before the formulation of the policies so as to ensure that their problems are addressed in the formulation, evaluation, monitoring and review of policies
Allowing partnership between, community-based organizations (CBOs), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), include advocacy groups on community-based initiatives. This would help in channeling funds to community organizations, saving and loan groups for income generation plans, housing construction and community development. Loans also provide networks to CBOs for lending to member of organizations. This promotes small businesses and small enterprises help the self advancement of individuals who are low-income earners.
Initiatives concerning security of occupancy and regularizing settlement should be granted for home improvements. Housing is addressed through a range of mechanisms from subsidized credit, providing accommodation, resettling residents living in unsafe environments to developing sites and housing for lower income groups. All income earners in the household contribute cash, building materials and supply, labor and furnishing. This improves poor housing systems for low-income earners.
Provision of adequate housing based on the specific needs of the target groups should be initiated in policies. Housing is a basic need, therefore; the state and private sectors should provide affordable houses for sale or rental for the low-income earners disabled and all citizens. Improve the quality and productivity of housing development through ensuring that constructed houses have met quality requirements and standards. This is through encouraging the use of skilled workers and quality local construction materials. This to ensure affordable houses for low-income earners
The government should ensure implementation of efforts to ensure sustainability of the housing sector. This is through the use of environmental-friendly housing development concepts with new innovations and technologies such as green technology and also encouraging urban renewal and renovation of old buildings in line with government’s objective for conservation and promotion of informal settlement.
Intensifying the effectiveness of implementation and ensuring compliance of the housing services delivery system. Government should improve coordination and implementation of policies involving houses for low-income groups. Effective law enforcement, monitoring and implementation of new initiatives would lead to efficiency of housing delivery system. Federal agency will be liable for maintaining low-cost and affordable houses. The practice of mass building of houses and serviced plots to low-income earners by government and multilateral organizations sponsored programs should be formulated. This is to promote the low-income earners as everyone has the right to a good housing. The poverty level of the low income earners need to be addressed alongside housing delivery through supportive programs of tenure security and community based mechanism of housing finance.