Group woos off-takers, plans federation of housing cooperatives
As part of efforts to access affordable housing, key stakeholders in the industry, especially cooperative societies in private, public and informal sectors have resolved to form a Federation of Housing Cooperatives of Nigeria (FEHCON) towards accumulating social capital for housing off-takers.
They also inaugurated a committee comprising of various representatives of cooperative charged with the responsibility of planning the launch of FEHCON within the next two months.The group initiated plans for accumulation of social capital through monthly contribution of cooperative member in order to achieve single digit interest rate for off takers financing.
The decisions were taken after NISH Co-operative Housing Seminar in Abuja, where participants called for a paradigm shift from supply side (developers) to demand side (off takers) in housing development.
While noting the need to reach out to local and foreign experts to participate in the development of housing at affordable rates and favorable terms, the participants appealed to government to provide land to cooperatives society for affordable housing and off takers’ finance at single digit interest rate.
The body, which would be launched soon would represent the interests of housing off takers and ensure that they are not left to the whims and caprices of developers and mortgage bankers. A committee, comprising of representatives of cooperatives, was charged with the responsibility of planning and mobilising for sustainable takeoff of
Speaking at the seminar in Abuja, a retired Permanent Secretary and the Chairman, NISH Housing Initiative, Yemi Adelakun stressed the need to initiate plans for accumulation of social capital through monthly contributions of cooperative members in order to improve access to off takers financing at single digit interest rate. Social capital accumulation has become imperative as many off-takers are not qualified for mortgage financing and for those eligible available funds are inadequate.
He observed that the initiative is part of a paradigm shift from the supply side (Developers) to the demand side (off takers) in housing development. He noted that the focus of affordable housing should be on financing off-takers and this will indirectly translate to construction finance. He further noted that the incidence of unoccupied houses would be drastically reduced, as housing development will be tailored to effective demand of buyers.
Adelakun encouraged group negotiations with manufacturers of building materials and other stakeholders in the housing value chain in order to minimise cost of building.He also appealed to Government to provide land to cooperatives for affordable housing, and intervention fund at single digit interest rate especially to finance off takers.
According him, there is also the need to jointly reach out to local and foreign developers with expertise, finance and other factors to invest in affordable housing and provide them necessary comforts especially bankable off-takers’ guarantees.
He pledged the commitment of NISH Housing Initiative to continuously seeking solutions for the delivery of quality houses at moderate prices and housing finance at moderate rates.The cooperatives expert from Kenya, Mr. David Ndegwa, shared Kenyan experience with the participants on how to organise and empower cooperative societies to accumulate and invest social capital.
He also shared information on reputable EPCFs around the world and how best to attract them to efficiently and effectively deliver affordable housing in Nigeria. Ndegwa concluded by listing multilateral organizations offering guarantees to facilitate engagement of EPCFs.
The seminar was attended by Housing off takers and representatives of various cooperative societies including the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Navy, ICPC, Railway, Salaries and Wages, Tenants Association and Traders Cooperatives. Also in attendance were representatives of Engineering, Procurement, Construction Companies, and Finance (EPCFs), Insurance Companies and Banks.
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