Urban Housing Supply: Cooperative Societies as the Third Way
Recent academic research from various approaches into the housing sector generally agrees that cooperative societies should have a more defined role in the provision and finance of urban housing. However, there is a dearth of empirical information on cooperatives housing sector activity in Lagos. This study has the objective of providing empirical information on the potentialities of cooperative societies in the Lagos State housing sector. The purpose of this paper is to advocate the integration of cooperative societies into urban housing supply. It establishes the relevance of cooperative societies in housing delivery in Lagos State through a survey of 171 cooperative members across twelve cooperatives. Copies of a questionnaire were administered to seven purposefully chosen workers cooperative societies, one trade-group, two farmers cooperatives, one women cooperative and one faith-group cooperative. The questionnaire was a semi-structured instrument and was subjected to a reliability test. A descriptive analysis was carried out with the aid of the customer satisfaction index (CSI).The survey showed key strengths to include wide acceptance across gender, income classes and economic sector. Other strengths are high member retention and attraction of new members with 48% of respondents as long-term members, as well as significant activity in rental and home completion financing, with close to 52% having taken a housing related loan recently. However, key weaknesses include weak satisfaction with loan activities across five variables of interest rate, collateral, payback period, transaction costs and promptness in funds disbursement. A Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis is presented as a framework for future policy and research efforts to formally integrate cooperative societies into the housing delivery sector in Lagos State.