AN INVESTIGATION ON THE INFLUENCE OF HOUSING MAINTENANCE-CULTURE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC HOUSING IN NAIROBI

Most urban areas in Kenya are experiencing rapid urbanization rates which exert pressure on the
existing housing stock. Provision of adequate housing has remained a daunting challenge in the
country particularly in urban areas following the high demand for housing. Most public
residential units are characterized by a poor state of maintenance. In general, public buildings are
under-maintained with a substantial part of the building stock being in danger of deteriorating
beyond the point of economic repair. Currently, there is a large stock of public buildings in
Kenya owned by Central Government, Local Authorities, and Parastatals that are in poor state
and require continuous maintenance. Effective Maintenance to a large extent depends on attitude
of building owners to their investment and also on the status and commitment accorded to the
maintenance function. Since the last three decades, there’s been a growing awareness of the
importance of systematic and efficient building maintenance similar to any other corporate
activity. In this regard, research on maintenance has been conducted both globally and locally
and recommendations made. However, despite the numerous researches, and proposed effective
maintenance strategies, implementation of the findings has not been forthcoming. Among the
studies conducted, none has investigated the extent to which maintenance culture influenced
maintenance of public housing in Nairobi. It is against this status of affairs that this study was
conducted to investigate the influence of maintenance culture in the maintenance of public
housing in Nairobi. The study used descriptive design with a target of 49 staff of the Government
Estate Department of the Ministry of Housing. The study used stratified sampling technique and
obtained a sample population of 50% of the target population. Data was collected using a
structured questionnaire, which was administered to the respondents using drop and pick method.
A pilot testing was conducted before data was collected to test the research instrument for
reliability and validity. The data was analyzed using descriptive analysis and multiple regression.
IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20.0 was used to assist in
analyzing the data. The study found out that maintenance of public houses was not accorded the
priority it deserved; the ministry of housing was characterized by bureaucratic structures,
systems and processes which contributed to underperformance; organizational structure,
Governance culture, and employee culture highly influenced maintenance of public housing; and
that lack of trained and qualified maintenance personnel would adversely affect proper housing
maintenance. The study recommends the government should review its housing maintenance
organizational policy to ensure that the bureaucratic elements are reduced; should review the
housing maintenance legislative framework to ensure effective housing maintenance; and
ensuring deployment of appropriate and adequate personnel within the maintenance docket.
Further studies should be conducted to establish the organizational policies, Governance culture
factors and Employee culture factors that would result in effective housing maintenance.