Ambode targets 20,000 housing units in three years
• Plans 10-year housing masterplan
As part of efforts to address the housing challenge in Lagos state, government is targeting about 20,000 housing units over the next three years.
Already, the State Executive Council has given approval to some developers to partner with government towards the realization of the new units proposed through Public Private Partnership under Lagos affordable Public Housing programme.
The Commissioner For Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal disclosed this at the 2016 stakeholders’ forum organised by the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) themed: “ Arbitration a better option to dispute resolution in real estate practice”.
He said the government has put in place a range of policies and programmes aimed at enhancing affordability and accessibility.
According to him, some of the policies introduced to revitalize the sector include the rent-to own and rental housing policies.
He said the initiative is targeted at low and medium income earners in both the formal and informal sectors, with a total of 12 housing estates spread over the three senatorial districts dedicated for its implementation.
“With the Rent-to-Own arrangement, individuals are required to pay 5percent of the values of the housing units as commitment fee and the balance spread over a period of 10 years, while the tenant is allowed to live on the property, paying towards ownership at a fixed rent within the period of 10 years.
“The rental housing policy is to further expand housing accessibility and affordability in Lagos state and designed for those who may not be able to afford the 5 per cent commitment fee or who for one reason or the other may be more comfortable with rental housing”, he said.
On the 10 year Housing Master Plan, Lawal, said the Ministry of Housing is collaborating with the Centre for Housing Studies m, University of Lagos because it recognized that a housing master –plan for Lagos state has become inevitable in view of the population growth and the need to make provisions for the people.
The master plan, he said, will contain demographic studies, housing typology and estimation of current and future needs of the people, as well as provide clear directions for investors seeking housing investment outlets in the state.
Earlier the special adviser to the governor on housing, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson said the meeting was necessary because of the high market demand in the real estate, which has made it susceptible to abuse by individuals who engage in nefarious activities to the detriment of the citizens of the state.
According to her, there was the need to expeditiously dispose cases in order to sanitise and build confidence in the sector for the benefit of stakeholders.
Speaking on the theme, Head of Faculty of Arbitration, Conciliation and Expert witness of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers’, Adejuwon Adenuga stressed the need for stakeholders in the real estate sector to embrace arbitration in the settlement of disputes.
According to him, parties have a lot control over arbitral proceedings than litigation processes because why arbitrations run with minimal disruptions to commercial activities from which disputes arise, outcomes are les likely to damage contractual relationship the way litigations tend to do.
Meanwhile, in fulfilment of its campaign promises, the state government has commissioned 4, 355 affordable housing units across the three senatorial districts in the state.
Unveiling the scheme at Epe recently, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said the policy was in line with the objective of his administration “to make accommodation comfortable and easier for the citizens irrespective of their status, tribe or level of income.”
The scheme tagged: ‘Rent – To-Own and Rental Housing policy’, was described as an improvement on the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, which he adopted from the previous administration.
According to the governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, “The new scheme under which a beneficiary was required to make an initial payment of 30 per cent as equity contribution with monthly payment of the balance spread over a period of 10 years.”
The governor disclosed that the new housing policy would benefit low-income earners, traders and the general masses. He said the feedback from the public on the previous Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme indicated that there was a need to review it to ensure that more people benefited from in the process.