Households’ ethnic background and crowding in public housing multifamily apartments in Lagos
Crowded housing is one of the housing stresses that bother policy makers and housing authorities in Lagos, Nigeria. At the core of the argument is the anthropology of proper and acceptable sleeping arrangements, particularly as it applies to households' ethnic and cultural groups. The study examined the crowding levels among persons of different ethnic and cultural origins occupying Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC)'s apartments. Four housing estates were purposively selected among LSDPC's multifamily categories, comprising 7,764 apartments. A sample of 7.5% was chosen using stratification and systematic random techniques. A pretested questionnaire instrument was used to collect the relevant demographic data of occupants. The ethnic group of the household head was taken as a measure of the ethnicity and cultural background of the household. Apartment occupants were grouped into three: households that consist of 1-2 occupants; households that consist of 3-5 occupants; and households that consist of 6 or more occupants. Non-parametric statistical techniques were applied to analyse and compare data obtained from questionnaire. The result shows that households consisting of 3-5 occupants were dominant and no one ethnic group consistently maintained higher or lower crowding level across apartments. Hence, household head's ethnicity had no significant effect on apartment crowding. This result contrasts with findings from earlier researches in some countries which claim that household crowding varies considerably according to ethnic groups. It recommends that ethnic groups should be deliberately mixed to achieve ethnic and social integration.
Keywords: crowding, ethnicity, multifamily apartment, public housing