This paper discusses a strategy and functional approach for the provision of low-cost housing for the urban poor in Nigeria. It notes the rapid rate of urbanization occurring in Nigeria, which is due mainly to massive rural-urban drift, and explosive urban population growth. A major consequence of this occurrence has been the deterioration of housing situation in the urban centres, manifested in severe shortages of housing units, and overcrowding in poor quality buildings that are situated in degraded environment. The urban poor constitute the vast majority of urban dwellers and they are in a disadvantaged economic position to build for themselves and are generally unable to make effective demand of existing housing. Housing this urban population is a major thrust of sustainable urban development. This paper asserts that a strategy for achieving the goal of adequately housing the urban poor is extensive mass housing development employing indigenous materials and methods, and involving the target population from policy making through programme execution. This is a bottom-up, participatory approach that will ensure the sustainability of the housing development. A case study, State Housing Estate, Oke-Ila, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria in which indigenous materials were used in some buildings, was examined in the paper. The paper also looks at experiments with indigenous materials in the construction of model low-cost houses, and these include the Pampomani Housing Estate in Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria, and Yakatsari resettlement scheme in Kano, Nigeria. The paper examines earth architecture as a relevant indigenous technology and recommends its use in housing the teeming poor majority in Nigerian urban centres.
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