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2.2.3. Affordability

is the aspect of a product or service being cheap enough to be for consumers to
be able to purchase (Cambridge Dictionary, 2017). It is a factor in the
comparison of income of a consumers and the overall cost of a good or service.
Expense incurred in construction need to be compared to the overall income of
the clients so as to gauge the affordability of the housing technology used (Wetzstein,
2017). The more affordable a technology; the more economically efficient it is.
In housing terms; affordability is related to the aspect low and middle income earners
being able to own a decent living quarters (Economic Times, 2017). This is of more
impact in developing nations where a majority of the population are not able to
buy houses from various financial and non-financial institutions (Economic
Times, 2017). This necessitates various governments to step in with new housing
schemes through partnership with private developers with the aim of making
housing affordable and living conditions better (Economic Times, 2017).

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a research conducted by Caroline (2015) on adoption of new technology in
government agencies in the United States; the author identified that adoption
is greatly impacted by the following factors; strategic management support of
the technology, shortage of financial resources to support the new technology,
low adaptability of the organizations to the changing market of operation, lack
of a clear forecast plan and shortage of technology advocates that would drive
the agenda of the technology. Of all the factors; the aspect of affordability –
in terms of financial resources was the most significant as affordability reflects
the cost-benefit aspect in adoption analysis (Caroline, 2015). Affordability
impacts negatively adoption if the overall cost is significantly greater than
the benefits to be derived from adoption of the new technology.

a study conducted on KRA i Tax system adoption by Mwambia (2015); the author
identified various factors that hamper adoption of new technology. Key among
them was affordability in that new technology demands resourcing in terms of
financial and man power. Thus resourcing is significant in driving the adoption
of new innovation as it should be cheap in access and use.

affordability is a term that replaced the aspect of housing needs that was
being popularly referred to by various stake holders (Keiti and Akumu, 2017).
In essence it relates to the portion of an individual income that caters for
the housing needs in comparison to other needs as well (Keiti and Akumu, 2017).
The major contributors that influence affordability are the cost of land on
which construction is being under taken, source/cost of funds for the monetary
resources used in the construction, cost of the building materials (Keiti and
Akumu,2017). In Kenya; over 70% of the urban population find affordability of
housing a challenge (Keiti, 2015). This is manifested through street homes,
slum settlements, informal settlements, high cost to living quarters in
comparison to household income- for those renting, inability to service
mortgages leading to defaults and forced sale by banks on delinquent loans
(Keiti, 2015). Thus affordability plays a key role in ensuring provision of the
basic need of shelter.

the context of housing; affordable housing is a major challenge to population
especially living in urban areas. Affordability reflects the capital
availability to enable construction. Capital is a major factor in the overall
cost of construction and it is the primary concern for the key stake holders in
the industry (Arief et al., 2002). Inflation has resulted in a sharp increase
in the cost of conventional construction materials which has resulted in the
need to adjust budgets for construction projects. Material cost comprise 80% of
the cost of construction (Arief et al., 2002). Decent housing in an enabling
environment has remained an elusive dream for many (Freeman, 2002). Inadequate housing
not only poses an economic challenge but also poses a health challenge. To curb
this there is need to manage the cost of construction that in turn reduces the
pricing leading to more affordability on the part of potential homeowner
(Freeman, 2002). This change requires both participation from the private and
public (government) stakeholders with focus being on innovation of new
technology that is better and cheaper at construction (Freeman, 2002). One of
the factors that determine cost of housing is the quality of the end
construction product. Quality in housing refers to use of long lasting durable
construction material; aesthetic value of the final product and minimal maintenance
cost (Bredenoord, 2017). For most clients’ protection against weather elements;
safety and privacy offered and reduced risk of collapse also features in the
decision making of the final cost of the construction (Bredenoord, 2017). The
key principle is to identify a construction method that addresses all the above
quality attributes at minimal and/or affordable cost.

is receiving increased attention globally in respect to its cost saving
aspect.  The value added by environment
conservation and effectiveness in reducing the time taken for construction
makes it a technology to make housing affordable (Arief et al., 2002). Technology
enhancement has necessitated a change of focus to low cost building material
and ACM tend to reduce the overall cost of houses making them affordable to a
majority of the population that have limited resources to afford houses built
by conventional brick and mortar technology (Angel, 2000).

choice of use or decline of use of a construction method is driven by a myriad
of factor- available funds being one of them. Dissemination of the cost saving aspect
of ACM eventually alters the decision making process of a client as they are
more receptive of any construction savings they can make (Ferrada et al., 2013).
use of ACM is important in the empowering of stakeholders to have a more active
role in their house construction and subsequent improvement (Bredenoord, 2017).
Active participation that’s is offered by ACM not only reduces the overall cost
of the house but also drives the use of quality and cheap housing materials and
methods (Bredenoord, 2017).

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