Interactive effects of institutional, economic, social and environmental barriers on sustainable housing in a developing country

Michael Atafo Adabre, Albert P.C. Chan, Amos Darko

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the causal relationships among ‘institutional’, ‘economic’, ‘social’ and ‘environmental’ sustainability barriers in addition to assessing their effects on sustainable housing. A questionnaire survey was conducted with professionals in the regulated sector of the Ghanaian housing market. Data collected were analyzed using the partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). Results revealed the following significant paths among the barriers: ‘institutional barriers’ to ‘economic barriers’ path is supported at a significance level of p < .05 at a t-value of 2.125; ‘institutional barriers’ to ‘social barriers’ path is also supported at a significance level of p < .05 at a t-value of 2.132 and likewise ‘institutional barriers’ to ‘environmental barriers’ path of p < .01 at a t-value of 3.740. Between the barriers and sustainable housing, both ‘institutional barriers’ and ‘environmental barriers’ have significant impacts on sustainable housing at t-values of 3.673 and 1.790 supported at p < .01 and p < .10, respectively. Three underlying barriers, viz: ‘bureaucratic delays’, ‘policy instability’ and ‘weak enforcement of development control on land’ accounted for all the significant paths of the ‘institutional barriers’. Among them ‘policy instability’ has the highest loading, suggesting that it is the biggest barrier to sustainable housing. Essentially, the findings unraveled the causal-effect relationships among the four categories of barriers and a predictive model between the barriers and sustainable housing. Accordingly, the ‘institutional barriers’ are causal barriers that have multiplier effects on ‘economic’, ‘social’ and ‘environmental’ barriers. The findings of this study contribute to the global body of knowlege on housing by investigating the interactive effects of institutional, economic, social and environmental sustainability barriers on sustainable housing. This equips policymakers and practitioners with deeper knowledge, enabling effective decisions, policies and strategies to overcome the barriers and promote sustainable housing development and supply.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108487
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Economic barriers
  • Environmental barriers
  • Institutional barriers
  • Social barriers
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Cite this