Factors influencing the quality of low-income housing in Polokwane Municipality South Africa
Keywords:building construction, contractors, low-income housing, poor-quality housing, quality design
Recent South African and international evidence highlights the broad and lasting impacts of households, particularly those on low income, when unable to afford higher income counterparts to live in apartments, maintained public housing, and other high-quality houses. A broad range of low-income houses recently built in South African local municipalities are reportedly defective, due to poor building and construction quality. This study aims to assess and determine the factors influencing high-quality housing positively impacting on the lives of a significant proportion of low-income housing projects. Reasons for and obstacles to quality design, construction quality and the development of low-income housing projects were identified. To assess the research questions, a quantitative survey (n=103) was carried out, simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used to select contractors who were active in low-income housing projects within the Polokwane Municipality. The quantitative data gathered were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to determine a combination of descriptive and non-parametric statistics of the data computing the frequencies, mean scores and standard deviations. Selected results show that poor-quality and low-income housing projects are perceived to be related to the contractors, builders and construction practitioners not complying with the standards, variously because of insufficient training or accountability to public authorities and end users of low-income houses, i.e., the beneficiaries. The respondents were of the view that house builders and local government authorities could use five factors, namely quality standards, management, involvement of people, process design and process, planning and scheduling to assess non-conformance to quality requirements in low-income housing projects in South Africa. The finding of this study provides a platform for improving the quality of housing design, construction projects, sustainability and an opportunity for local and international design and construction professionals to rethink design in the context of low-income housing projects.
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