Residential mobility practices in low-income communities of Tamale, Ghana

Yakubu, Ibrahim (2018-12)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Pro-poor housing research in cities of the global South tend to disproportionately focus on the profiling of stock deficits, inadequate quality housing and living conditions, illegal occupations, and the proliferation of informal housing developments. Very limited scholarly works have sought to understand housing practices and residential mobility dynamics in low-income housing systems. This study fills an important knowledge gap by investigating the socio-economic and cultural dynamics of residential mobility practices in the low-income communities of Tamale, Ghana. The study sets out to address four specific objectives, namely to formulate a typology of low-income housing and assess its influence on residential mobility practices; to investigate the underlying drivers of and motivations for residential mobility in low-income communities and to delineate residential mobility pathways; to examine the development strategies for and actions of the local state which influence residential mobility practices in low-income communities; and, finally, to analyse the implications of residential mobility for social exclusion in low-income communities. A mixed-methods research approach was adopted to address the research question. The approach draws heavily on pragmatism as an alternative philosophical framework to the traditional positivist, post-positivist and constructivist paradigms in social research. It offered a mutually illuminating framework for the collection of valid and reliable data for the study. Quantitative data was obtained in a survey of 395 households in nine low-income communities in Tamale. To enhance the heuristic value of the survey data, a diverse set of qualitative data was obtained from interviews conducted with individuals, households and officials of relevant government institutions. Behavioural theories of residential mobility, together with the rights to the city and housing pathway theories offered a broad-base foundation on which to foreground the study. These theories jointly offer a nuanced explanation of housing mobility practices in the pro-poor sector. It was found that the compound house form constitutes the dominant house type which uniquely accommodates low-income families in multihabitation. Compounds vary by size and material composition and by the kinship ties and tenure composition of residents. When using housing dissatisfaction as an incipient indicator of residential mobility, evidence from this research suggests that voluntary housing mobility practices do not have much to do with households’ dissatisfaction with observable features of the residential environments, despite poor housing and living conditions. Instead, residential mobility practices are partly rooted in the sanctity of sociocultural beliefs and practices which underlie housing consumption in the downstream sector. The study also found differences in the patterns of residential mobility exhibited by different ocio-economic groups in the housing system. This finding led to the delineation of a tripartite residential mobility pathway, namely pathway to homeownership; pathway out of homeownership; and a cyclical pathway in and out of rent-paying and rent-free tenancies. These pathways offer a focal lens with which to appreciate the agency of low-income families as well as the bundle of structural constraints under which relocation practices are exercised. Similarly, the incidence of forced residential mobility linked to processes of urban upgrading was very pronounced in Tamale. While this may be firmly rooted in colonial urban planning practices, it now manifests differently in the politics of pro-poor housing in the city. Pro-poor housing systems have come under constant threats of demolitions in the name of provision of access roads so that poor families are forced to relocate their housing even under an urban policy regime purported to support inclusive development. Grassroots local government structures are used in conjunction with the powers of traditional chieftaincies to facilitate housing demolition and forced eviction of low-income families in the name of providing access roads. By giving a detailed account of residential mobility practices in low-income communities of Tamale, this study contributes to the urban studies literature of the global South. The findings have broadened the scope and depth of knowledge in the field. It brings to the fore the everyday housing practices of the poor as well as the complex matrix of socio-economic and cultural factors which shape relocation decisions in the city. The findings also provide direct empirical evidence to support programmes and policies for pro-poor housing stability and inclusive urban development. As low-income communities become targets for urban redevelopment, the displacement effects of these programmes on pro-poor housing stability ought to be a matter of great concern for policy formulation. It is recommended that since the ideals of homeownership remain central to Ghana’s housing policy, fundamental aspects of the pathways to homeownership for the low-income population must be identified and enhanced by local authorities through proactive planning and controls. This will ensure that incremental house building by the poor is not only exercised within an acceptable framework for orderly physical development but also that homeownership by the poor does not become short lived due to threats or realities of housing demolitions and natural events. The findings of this study also open several avenues for future research on residential mobility. Hence, investigations are recommended to analyse the post-relocation experiences of households displaced by government development programmes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Pro-arm-behuisingsnavorsing in die stede van die globale Suide is geneig om oneweredig te fokus op die profilering van voorraadtekorte, onvoldoende gehaltebehuising en lewensomstandighede, onwettige okkupasie, en ’n massa aantal informele behuisingsontwikkelings. Daar is min wetenskaplike studies wat poog om die behuisingspraktyke en residensiëlemobiliteit-dinamika in lae-inkomstebehuisingstelsels te verstaan. Hierdie studie wat die sosio-ekonomiese en kulturele dinamika van residensiëlemobiliteit-praktyke in die lae-inkomstegemeenskappe van Tamale in Ghana ondersoek, vul dus ’n belangrike kennisgaping. Die studie is gemik op vier duidelike doelwitte, naamlik om ’n tipologie van lae-inkomstebehuising te formuleer en die invloed daarvan op residensiëlemobiliteit-praktyke te evalueer; om die onderliggende drywers van en motiverings vir residensiële mobiliteit in lae-inkomstegemeenskappe te ondersoek en residensiëlemobiliteit- paaie te definieer; om die ontwikkelingstrategieë vir en die optrede van die plaaslike regering te ondersoek wat beplanning vir residensiële mobiliteit in lae-inkomstegemeenskappe beïnvloed; en, laastens, om die gevolge van residensiële mobiliteit ten opsigte van sosiale uitsluiting in lae- inkomstegemeenskappe te ontleed. ’n Navorsingsbenadering wat gemengde metodes gebruik is gekies om die navorsingsvraag mee aan te pak. Die benadering bied ’n wedersyds verhelderende raamwerk vir die insameling van geldige en betroubare data vir die studie. Kwantitatiewe data is in ’n opname van 395 huishoudings in 9 lae-inkomstegemeenskappe in Tamale verkry. Om die heuristiese waarde van die opnamedata te verbeter, is ’n diverse stel kwalitatiewe data bekom uit onderhoude wat met individue, huishoudings en amptenare van die betrokke regeringsinstansies gevoer is. Gedragsteorieë oor residensiële mobiliteit, tesame met regte tot die stad en behuisingspadteorieë, het ’n breëbasis-grondslag gebied om die studie te belig. Gesamentlik bied hierdie teorieë ’n genuanseerde verduideliking van behuisingsmobiliteitpraktyke in die pro-arm-sektor. Daar is bevind dat die saamgesteldewoningvorm, wat lae-inkomstegesinne op unieke wyse in ’n veelsaamwoon-opset akkommodeer, die oorheersende huistipe is. Kampongs verskil wat grootte en konstruksiemateriaal betref en volgens die verwantskap en besitregsamestelling van die inwoners. Wanneer behuisingsontevredenheid as ’n aanvangsaanwyser vir residensiële mobiliteit gebruik word, toon die bewyse wat uit hierdie navorsing verkry is dat, ondanks swak behuising en lewensomstandighede, vrywillige behuisingsmobiliteit-praktyke nie veel met huishoudings se ontevredenheid oor residensiële omgewings se waarneembare kenmerke te make het nie. In stede daarvan is residensiëlemobiliteit-praktyke deels geanker in die onaantasbaarheid van sosiokulturele oortuigings en praktyke wat onderliggend is aan behuisingsgebruik in die stroomaf sektor. Die studie het ook verskille gevind in die residensiëlemobiliteitspatrone wat die verskillende sosio-ekonomiese groepe in die behuisingstelsel vertoon. Hierdie bevinding het gelei tot die afbakening van ’n driedelige residensiëlemobiliteit-pad, naamlik die pad na huiseienaarskap; die pad uit huiseienaarskap uit; en ’n sikliese pad na en uit akkommodasiekontrakte waar huurgeld betaal word of waar geen huurgeld betaal word nie. Hierdie paaie bied ’n ondersoekende lens om die agentskap van lae-inkomstegesinne, asook die magdom strukturele beperkings wat op hervestigingspraktyke betrekking het, te ondersoek. Die voorkoms van gedwonge residensiële mobiliteit wat met stedelike opgraderingsprosesse verband hou, was insgelyks duidelik waarneembaar in Tamale. Selfs al is dit diep in koloniale stedelike beplanningspraktyke ingewortel, manifesteer dit nou anders in die politiek van pro-arm-behuising in die stad. Pro-arm-behuisingstelsels is voortdurend onder bedreiging vanweë slopings wat in die belang van toegangspaaie na die stad gedoen word, en dit dwing arm gesinne om hul wonings te hervestig, selfs onder ’n stedelikebeleidsregime wat veronderstel is om inklusiewe ontwikkeling te steun. Plaaslikeregeringstrukture op voetsoolvlak, ondersteun deur die invloed van tradisionele leiers, word gebruik om die sloping van behuising en gedwonge uitsetting van lae- inkomstegesinne te fasiliteer deur aan te voer dat dit in die belang van toegangspaaie is. Deur die voorsiening van ’n gedetailleerde beskrywing van residensiëlemobiliteit-praktyke in die lae-inkomstegemeenskappe van Tamale, dra hierdie studie by tot die verruiming van die stedelike studieliteratuur oor die globale Suide. Die bevindings verbreed die omvang en diepgang van kennis in die veld. Dit plaas die alledaagse behuisingspraktyke van die armes, sowel as die komplekse matriks van sosio-ekonomiese en kulturele faktore wat hervestigingsbesluite in die stad beïnvloed, op die voorgrond. Die bevindings bied verder direkte empiriese bewyse ter ondersteuning van programme en beleide vir pro-arm-behuisingstabiliteit en inklusiewe stedelike ontwikkeling. Namate lae-inkomstegemeenskappe die teiken vir stedelike herontwikkeling word, moet die verskuiwingsimplikasies van hierdie programme op pro-arm-behuisingstabiliteit as ’n saak van werklike kommer by beleidsformulering oorweeg word. Daar word aanbeveel dat, aangesien die ideale van huiseienaarskap steeds die kern van Ghana se behuisingsbeleid vorm, plaaslike owerhede deur proaktiewe beplanning en beheermaatreëls die fundamentele aspekte van die pad na huiseienaarskap vir die lae-inkomstebevolking moet identifiseer en verbeter. Dit sal verseker dat inkrementele huisbou deur die armes nie net binne ’n aanvaarbare raamwerk vir ordelike fisiese ontwikkeling uitgevoer word nie, maar ook dat armes se huiseienaarskap nie van korte duur is vanweë die bedreigings of realiteite van behuisingslopings en natuurgebeure nie. Die bevindings van hierdie studie bied ook verskeie moontlikhede vir toekomstige navorsing oor residensiële mobiliteit. Daarom word verdere ondersoeke aanbeveel met die oog op die ontleding van die posthervestigingservarings van huishoudings wat deur regeringsontwikkelingsprogramme verskuif word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105183
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