Housing Security and Affordability Status of Civil Servants in Aleta Wondo Town, Ethiopia

Getu Lemma


The major objective of this study is to explore the persisting housing conditions and Affordability problems of civil servants in Aleta Wondo Town, Ethiopia. A mixed approach and exploratory research design employed. Quantitative and qualitative data collected principally through structured questionnaire from 158 randomly selected sample civil servants. KII, FGD and personal observation are also used to collect additional information. The survey result indicated that 70.9% of the respondents are living in rental houses and only 27.8% are found to be homeowners. Among the renters, the majority (83.9%) rented a housing unit from private residents. The study revealed that lack of disposable income (89.2%), the difficulty of obtaining land (86.5%), high and increasing cost of building materials (73%) and lack of access to housing finance (54.1%) as factors affected civil servants to homeownership. Moreover, they are highly suffering from lack of freedom while getting in and out (85.7%), restricted in use of house facilities (71.4%), and in the number of visitors (53.6%) coming to their home by the owners. There is also arbitrary increment of the amount of rent with urgent notice (50%) and lack freedom for children to play freely in the rented compound (48.2%). With regard to housing affordability level, 62.2% showed that owning a house is unaffordable to civil servants. On the contrary, rental houses are found to be affordable for civil servants in the study area as the rent-to-income ratio(RIR) for the majority (93.7%) is below the 30% threshold level. However, if RIR drops to 10% (since housing units are substandard) the large majority (60%) of rental houses become unaffordable to the low income civil servants. Hence, the researchers primarily recommend, among others, that local Government should support renters by reducing bias toward ownership; consider every income segment and acknowledge the wide range of rental possibilities in both informal and formal markets.

Keywords: Affordability, Civil Servants, Housing, Housing Conditions, Tenure status

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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