Housing Characteristics in the West Bank According to the Data of the Housing Conditions Survey of 2015

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Hussein Ahmed/supervisor
Dr.Ahmad Egrayeb/external examinr
Dr. Ahmad Ra'fat/internal examiner
Dr. Hussein Ahmed/supervisor
Hanan Ghazi Yusef Tayeh
This study has addressed one of the most important human subjects: housing characteristics and housing conditions in the West Bank. It is a subject that is considered a basic condition for different human freedoms. It is as well one of the most important basic rights of man. This subject is examined in this study against the economic, social, political and cultural life prevailing in the population of the study. It is well known that housing characteristics have their own consequences which appear clearly on all family members and the society as a whole. This study sought to examine housing characteristics in the West Bank in terms of type of housing, pattern of ownership, size, number of living rooms, building materials used for construction of external walls, cost of monthly rent of leased home (in Jordanian dinar). In addition, the study endeavored to find out the degree of crowdedness: number of individuals per room, extent of availability of basic facilities and modern conveniences for each family at home. The study also dwelt on the most outstanding obstacles which deprive family members of having decent housing in the West Bank. The study concludes with a comparison of housing characteristics in the West Bank governorates and their population centers. The study ends with a number of suggestions and recommendations for support, development and improvement of the housing sector and living conditions in the West Bank. This study depended on the descriptive method: description of the housing conditions and characteristics in the West Bank. In addition, the researcher depended on the analytical method in the examination of the social and economic factors affecting housing characteristics. To this end, the researcher made use of the housing conditions survey data of 2015 collected by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). The researcher used SPSS to make analysis of these data. The study was limited only to data pertinent to the housing characteristics in the West Bank. The study has eleven chapters. Chapter one was devoted to the research plan and it included an introduction, problem of the study, its objectives, hypotheses, limitation and primary sources as well as review of related literature. In this chapter, the researcher also dwelt on the characteristics of the social and economic structure of the West Bank population, the educational and economic levels of the family heads according to the 2015 housing conditions survey. It was found that the average household size in the West Bank in 2015 was 5.4 persons. The Palestinian population is classified as one of the youngest in the world, thanks to high percentage of those 15year olds and under. The percentage of youth in 2015 represented around 37.2% of the total population of all age groups. The educational level of most household heads was preparatory, representing around 29.4% of all household heads. Most of household heads were working within the private sector and outside. Chapter two was devoted to the theoretical framework of the study. In this chapter, the researcher examined the criteria for the right to have an appropriate housing and the functions it should enjoy. This is in addition to the housing needs and the ascending order of these needs according to Maslow's theory based on Hierarchy of Human Needs. These needs are ordered according to their degree of importance and include physiological and biological needs, safety need, social need, esteem and self actualization. The researcher also touched on the criteria for Palestinian housing and the economic importance of housing projects. The researcher concluded the chapter by highlighting the most outstanding concepts and terms used in the study based on the Glossary of Statistical Terms used in the PCBS in 2015. In Chapter three, the researcher studied the types of housing in the West Bank. It was found that the house was the most common and prevalent in the West Bank. It represented around 54.0% of all types of housing in 2015. The researcher, in chapter four, examined the patterns and forms of family ownership of homes. It was found that 81.9% of all homes in the West Bank were privately owned as opposed to 20.1% leased to people. Chapter five dwelt on the cost of monthly rent of leased homes. It was found that the cost of monthly rent in the West Bank was 179.94 Jordanian dinars. Chapter six was devoted to materials used in building external walls of houses. Concrete brick ranked first in percentage of use in external walls of houses. About 41.6% of houses' external walls had concrete brick. Chapter seven dealt with the size of household. It was found that the average of household size area in West Bank was around 124.63 square meters. Chapter eight surveyed the number of living rooms in West Bank households. It was found that the average number of rooms in households was 3.45 rooms as opposed to an average of 2.12 bedrooms per house. Chapter nine investigated the degree of crowdedness per household. It was found that crowdedness in West Bank households was around 1.70 persons per room. Chapter ten dwelt on basic facilities and modern conveniences available for families in households. According to the 2015 housing conditions survey, degree of availability of these facilities was around 0.53. However, there was a rise in average of households having modern conveniences and services in comparison with those available in the 2007 Census of Population, Housing and Establishments. These included, inter alia, use of automatic washing machines, 3DTVs, fridges and gas cookers. Chapter eleven highlighted the most important and outstanding obstacles facing the Palestinian family to have decent housing according to 2015 Housing Conditions Survey Data. The obstacles were arranged in a hierarchy, from the one with strongest influence to the least strong influence on the family. These obstacles were lack of ready for sale housing units, high cost of building licenses and fees, social impediments, high cost of building materials and rise of land prices. Chapter twelve was devoted to the study conclusions, suggestions and recommendations to concerned parties. These include supporting and developing existing housing units, building new housing projects for different limited-income families in the West Bank. Another recommendation is the necessity to provide basic services and facilities to West Bank households. A third recommendation is to include the housing strategies within the long-term strategies and make them comprehensive. This is in addition to providing basic public services and utilities to households and enacting new laws to decrease cost of building licenses and land prices in the West Bank.
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