HOUSING AND MENTAL HEALTH IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS: A CASE OF IBADAN NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OYO STATE, NIGERIA
Alabi, A.M., . &
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Faculty of Environmental Design and Management
University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Housing is a fundamentally key factor in people's mental health. However, research on housing and mental health is new and limited in developing countries. It is hinged on this premise that this study determined the links between housing and mental health in the informal settlements of Ibadan North Local Government Area (LGA), Nigeria. Sick home syndrome provided the conceptual anchor for the study while the survey research method was adopted. Both primary and secondary data were used. Twelve informal communities were purposively selected and 320 respondents were randomly chosen. The type and quality of housing units in informal settlements affected the mental health of residents. The effect of residential crowding on mental health was pronounced among those residing in a tenement building, otherwise known as Brazilian face-me-i-face-you. About 42.8% of residential buildings provided accommodations for 5-6 households. Unaffordable rent and insecurity of rental housing tenure worsen the mental health of 46.9% and 40% of residents respectively. The most occurring mental health problems were anxiety, depression, stress, sleeping problem, substance abuse. Schizophrenia, manic depression, phobias and panic disorders occur rarely among the residents. Suggested measures for improving housing quality and mental health of residents include housing improvement, urban regeneration, provision of green spaces and infrastructural facilities and public enlightenment on sanitary housing environment.
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