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Grace W. Njoroge Kahura, Prof. Joe K. Kamaria


Purpose: The purpose the study was to investigate the social cultural and environmental related factors influencing the selection of areas of residence in Kenya in the case of Nairobi residents.

Methodology: The researcher used descriptive research design. The scope of the study was limited to Nairobi County. The study identified a population of 985,016 households in Nairobi County out of which a sample of 150 respondents were used. Random sampling technique was used to select the respondents from each category. The study used primary data that was collected using questionnaires. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The data was then analysed in terms of descriptive statistics like frequencies and percentages.

Results: Results indicated that majority of the respondents found social-cultural factors such as safe neighborhood, relations with neighbors, nearness to family and friends, noise level, degree of crowding, size of household, social class and quality of schools in the neighborhood as being important while choosing their places of residence. The results indicated that the most important social cultural factor is quality of schools in the neighbourhood, followed by safety of neighbourhood, degree of crowding, and social class. The least ranked factors were relations with neighbors, community stability, nearness to family and friends, noise level, and size of household. Results indicated that majority of the respondents attached a lot of importance to environmental factors while choosing their places of residence since most of them disagreed with the statement that they would live in an area with poor drainage systems. On the other hand, majority of the respondents agreed to the statements that cleanliness of the neighborhood was important, running water is important, they would pay more for houses that conserve the environment such as energy-efficient housing, knowledge of the materials used to construct a house is necessary.

Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy: The study recommended that that social-cultural factors are very important aspects to consider when choosing place of residence. Therefore, it is advisable to take note of such factors as safe neighbourhood, degree of crowding among others before concluding on where to reside. It is also recommended that it would be significant to prioritize environmental factors such as drainage systems, availability of running water, and cleanliness of the neighbourhood among other environmental factors while concluding a decision on where to reside. It is also recommended that landlords should put into consideration such factors since majority of their potential tenants’ decision to reside in a given area will in most cases be influenced by such factors.

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social cultural factors, environmental factors, selection, areas of residence

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