Federal Government, in collaboration with the German Development Corporation and some indigenous corporate bodies in the housing sector, have collectively adopted a communiqué that provides practicable solutions to challenges facing the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who presented the communiqué at the second day of the Affordable Housing Summit held in Abuja on Tuesday, June 28, said the theme, ‘Developing a Blueprint for Affordable Housing Delivery in Nigeria,’ was intended to generate the framework for a robust policy for the built sector.
Fashola noted that the communiqué was centred on five thematic issues namely Land, Finance, Concession and Incentives, Off-takes Strategies, Skills and Technology Development.
The communiqué observed among several considerations – the role of FG to make land easily accessible for affordable housing delivery, as well as the difficulties low income earners face in rent payment and access to mortgage finance.
Meanwhile, some of the recommendations contained in the blueprint regarding land included an acceptable definition of affordable housing by all stakeholders in Nigeria, reduction of the cumbersome process of land acquisition and titling with a view to easing construction, development of sectoral policies in consonance with the provisions of the various acts and bills on land utilisation.
On financing, the document provided the need to proffer local solutions to mortgage financing by considering generational mortgage financing where tenor could be extended beyond the original mortgagee for continuity; the need to maintain the single digit interest rate, recapitalise the FMBN and enforcement of the NHF, liaise with the National Assembly to fast-track the amendment of the relevant laws already submitted such as foreclosure, mortgage, insurance laws among others.
Addressing concession and intervention, the document noted the need to introduce tax exemptions to developers, patronise made in Nigerian goods and reduce the rate of land registration, stamp duties, professional fees of valuers/surveyors and lawyers.
Also, its focus on the off-takers (housing end users), the need to evolve an implementation strategy that involves government and all stakeholders arose, stressing the creation of special housing solutions to certain such as hostels for the youth, old people’s homes, housing for widows and persons living with HIV/AIDs, including people with disability and so on.
Other resolutions included the agreement to create and develop new towns and urban regeneration, also to consider leasing out unoccupied government properties through public private partnership and attempt adopting the successful Cooperative Intensive Home Ownership Scheme of Lagos State.
Lastly on skills development and technology, the document suggested mainstreaming energy efficiency measures into the national building code through the production of practice notes, planning standards, rules and regulations for the various skills in the built environment; establish new technologies suitable to our climate and culture for affordable housing construction; revive, expand, upgrade and equip trade schools for skills development to mention a few.
Defining affordable housing, Fashola said “consensus revealed that there is no one-size-fit all definition for affordable housing.
“The indices that should be used for defining affordable housing should include segregation, stratification, classes of people and their income bracket, not more than one-third net household income of the target group, not individual income alone and equity contribution of end-users.”
The summit attracted more than 600 participants drawn from the entire spectrum of players in the built industry and received input from Mr. Fashola, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador O. Bamgbose, the head of SEDIN Programme of the German Development Corporation, Mr. Torsten Schlink, Kayode Afolabi of World Bank, president of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Rev. Ugochukwu, and notable captains of the real estate industry.


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