An Evaluation Of The Impact Of Tenant Satisfaction On Rent Arrears In Public Housing: A Case Of Kibera Decanting Site
Several international policy instruments particularly the United Nations as well as national guidelines define adequate housing as encompassing more than just a roof over ones‘ head. Adequate housing is thus multi-faceted and complex. As a result, achieving access to adequate housing for all as was envisaged in the Habitat Agenda remains a challenge to most households particularly in developing countries in which a significant majority of urban residents cannot afford decent housing delivered by the market systems partly due to their low and inconsistent income streams. Consequently, it is inevitable that public agencies provide or facilitate access to affordable and decent public housing to ameliorate housing deficiencies of the poor emanating from inadequacies of the market systems. Although public housing rents are often relatively lower compared to market and sometimes economic rents in similar neighbourhood, the management of public housing by the public agencies in most countries is often bedeviled by poor maintenance, rent arrears and more often than not, tenants are unsatisfied with their living environments. These factors set in a vicious cycle which contributes towards the general decline of public housing (Hegedus & Mark, 1994). This research project report therefore explores the relationship between the phenomenon of rent arrears in public housing and tenant satisfaction focusing on the Kibera Decanting Site in Nairobi-Kenya. The objectives of this study are thus to:- • Establish the extent of rent arrears in public housing • Establish to what extent tenant satisfaction contribute to rent arrears in public housing • Propose ways of improving tenant satisfaction and rent collection in public housing To tackle these objectives this research uses a conceptual framework grounded on a modification of the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) which is a statistical technique for testing and estimating causal relationships using a combination of statistical data and qualitative causal assumptions. In this conceptual framework four main focus areas of tenant satisfaction namely building features, building quality, neighbourhood aspects and management are latent variables. The methodology used is the canvasser method using a structured questionnaire that measured level of tenant satisfaction towards housing using the five-point Likert Scale. The results confirm that tenant arrears as associated with most public housing is indeed a challenge in the Kibera Decanting Site. As such over 70 percent of the tenants are in arrears and owe the Government in excess of Kshs 14 million. The residents are however largely satisfied with most of the components addressed in this study except elements of the neighbourhood particularly on security which recorded low levels of satisfaction. However, this research established that in this public housing facility, there is no direct relationship between rent arrears and tenant satisfaction.