Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the respondents
As Table 4 shows, a little over 75% of the respondents are male heads of families and the rest are females. Single parents constitute nearly 25% of the total number of families. The majority of respondents (ranging from 64 to 84%) of all housing schemes are between 31 and 40 years of age. Whereas the percentage of elderly family heads in transit housing is low, it is significant in both individual and cluster housing types. Although the average bedroom occupancy is less than 2.0 in all housing schemes, a large percentage (58–66%) have 6+ family members. While only 14% of the respondents in transit housing have no formal education, the percentage is significant (30% each) in cluster and individual housing. Between 40 and 42% of the respondents in the three housing schemes have a low level of education. Their lower level of education is also reflected in the low level of family income, <RM1000 (<US$315.0), which applies to 84–90% of the respondents in the three housing schemes. A relatively longer length of residency is observed among people in individual housing compared to the cluster housing residents. For most of the transit dwellers, the length of residency is short because this programme is newer than the others (Table 4).
Although 40% of the transit housing respondents have no private transport, 28% and 18% of the cluster and individual housing residents, respectively, do not own any means of transport either. While 56% of those in individual housing and 52% of the cluster housing residents own motorised transport, only 36% of the transit residents do. Transit dwellers have a higher percentage (82%) of working wives than cluster (64%) and individual (60%) residents.
Analysis of housing satisfaction
Overall housing satisfaction rated by three resident groups indicates a mean value of a little over slightly satisfied or a lower level of satisfaction than the moderate level which is defined with a mean value of 3.5 (Table 5). For the housing unit component, all residents have expressed moderate satisfaction, with transit and individual housing residents rating it slightly higher than the cluster group. Transit housing residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the (clothes) drying area and very low satisfaction with the dining space. While individual housing residents gave the bedroom-3, dining and kitchen spaces a lower rating, cluster residents expressed very low satisfaction with socket points, kitchen, dining and living areas. On the house support component, all residents registered very low satisfaction. Whereas transit housing residents are dissatisfied with the lift, lift lobby and fire fighting facilities, they conveyed very low satisfaction with the corridors and cleanliness of drains. Both cluster and individual housing groups have low satisfaction with the garbage collection and cleanliness of the garbage house, cleanliness of drains and street lighting.
On the public facilities component, while both transit and cluster housing groups showed moderate satisfaction, individual housing residents had a lower level of satisfaction with that component. Whereas individual housing residents are dissatisfied with the public phone, both individual and cluster groups reported low satisfaction with the open space/play area, followed by the parking area among the individual group and by the pedestrian walkways among the cluster group.
On the social environment component, while both individual and cluster housing groups registered moderate satisfaction, transit housing residents expressed low satisfaction with that component. Whereas transit housing residents are dissatisfied about the noise level and crime in their housing areas, cluster housing residents showed low satisfaction about accidents, crime and noise in their housing areas.
On the neighbourhood facilities component, although individual housing residents expressed dissatisfaction, both transit and cluster housing residents conveyed very low satisfaction with that component. Individual housing residents were dissatisfied about the distance to the town centre, workplace, LRT station, bus stop, taxi stand and fire station, but they conveyed low satisfaction with the distance to school. While transit housing residents were dissatisfied about the distance to the LRT station and public library, they expressed a low level of satisfaction about the distance to the town centre, workplace, police station, hospital/clinic, shopping centre, market, taxi stand, bus stop and fire station. Again, while people in cluster housing expressed dissatisfaction with the distance to the LRT station and taxi stand, they showed low satisfaction with the distance to the town centre, workplace, police station, shopping centres, market, public library, bus stop and fire station.
The distribution of the regime of satisfaction (Fig. 2) shows that a moderate level of housing satisfaction is dominant for most of the components. The exceptions are the neighbourhood facilities among people in individual housing and housing support services among those in cluster housing. A significantly higher percentage of respondents expressed a lower level of satisfaction with the public facilities component in the individual and cluster housing schemes. On the contrary, high satisfaction levels with the social environment component were recorded among cluster and individual housing residents, followed by a higher satisfaction with public facilities among the transit housing dwellers. Also significantly high levels of satisfaction have been expressed about the public facilities component by individual and cluster housing inhabitants, followed by satisfaction with housing unit features expressed by cluster housing residents and with housing support services expressed by individual housing dwellers. A significant percentage of cluster and individual housing residents revealed high satisfaction with housing unit features and support services compared to the transit housing residents, in which case the percentage of respondents is relatively low.
Analysis of habitability indices and housing environment
Habitability indices (HI) are calculated to assess the contribution of specific variables to the degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the respondents (Ogu 2002). In order to facilitate the interpretation of the contribution of housing and other environmental variables to the degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction expressed by the respondents living in three types of housing schemes, habitability indices are categorised into three broad regions—highly positive (++) with index values between 70 and 100; moderately positive (+) with index values between 60 and 69.9; and negative (−) with index values between 20 and 59.9. Table 6 shows that the individual housing dwellers are dissatisfied with 23% of all items, followed by the transit housing dwellers, who are dissatisfied with 21% of all items. On the other hand, the cluster housing residents reported the lowest level of dissatisfaction, being dissatisfied with 9% of all items. Component-wise distribution shows that the transit housing respondents expressed dissatisfaction about the bathroom, (clothes) drying area, lift and lift lobby, fire fighting, cleanliness of drains, noise level, crime situation and distance to the public library and LRT station. The component-wise distribution also shows dissatisfaction among individual housing dwellers regarding the cleanliness of the garbage house, public phone and the distance to the town centre, workplaces, fire station and public transport facilities. On the other hand, cluster housing residents conveyed their dissatisfaction with most of the public transport services, including the location of the fire station.
Multivariate analysis of housing satisfaction
The Pearson correlation matrix (Table 7) shows that the OCHSI (Overall Cluster Housing Satisfaction Index) is more highly positively correlated to public facilities, housing unit support services and neighbourhood facilities than to social environment and housing unit features, where the r values are significantly positive but low. The OIHSI (Overall Individual Housing Satisfaction Index) is highly positively correlated to housing unit features, support services, public facilities and social environment, though it has a low correlation with neighbourhood facilities. The OTHSI (Overall Transit Housing Satisfaction Index) has high positive correlations with all the components. Inter-component correlation analysis (Table 7) indicates that satisfaction with housing unit features has positive correlations with housing support services, public facilities and social environment for all housing groups except the social environment component of the cluster housing group. However, satisfaction with neighbourhood facilities has no correlation with satisfaction about housing unit features. Satisfaction with housing unit support services is positively correlated to satisfaction with public facilities, social environment and neighbourhood facilities for all the housing categories. The only exception appears to be the satisfaction with neighbourhood facilities among the cluster housing group. Satisfaction with public facilities is positively correlated to satisfaction with the social environment and neighbourhood facilities for all housing groups. The only exception concerns the individual housing group, having no correlation with satisfaction about neighbourhood facilities. Satisfaction about the social environment has no correlation with satisfaction about neighbourhood facilities among any housing category. The respondents’ socio-economic characteristics offered no meaningful correlations with the five housing satisfaction components.
Three Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) models were estimated to determine the best linear combination of independent variables for predicting the overall housing satisfaction of each housing group. For the overall cluster housing satisfaction (MLR-1; Table 8), the model identified nine predictor variables with beta weights. Of these nine, two belong to housing unit features, two to housing unit support services, three to public facilities and two to neighbourhood facilities. The model suggests that cluster housing residents’ overall satisfaction can be enhanced by improving satisfaction about the distance to market, public telephone, pedestrian walkways, (power) socket points, garbage collection, distance to police station, kitchen space, cleanliness of drains and parking facilities.
For overall individual housing satisfaction (MLR-2; Table 9), the model identified eight predictor variables with beta weights. Of these eight, two belong to housing unit features, three to housing support services and one each to public and neighbourhood facilities. The model suggests that individual housing residents’ total housing satisfaction can be enhanced by improving satisfaction with the kitchen space, distance to school, street lighting, parking, cleanliness of the garbage house, cleanliness of drains, pedestrian walkways and the (clothes) drying area.
For the overall transit housing satisfaction (MLR-3; Table 10), the model identified nine predictor variables with beta weights. Of the nine variables, only one belongs to the housing unit features, three belong to housing support services, two are public facilities, one is part of the social environment and two are neighbourhood facilities. It appears from the model that transit housing residents’ total housing satisfaction can be enhanced by improving their satisfaction about the distance to the workplace, about pedestrian walkways, the living area, the distance to the police station, the lift lobby, the multi-purpose hall, the noise level, street lighting and garbage collection.