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Lagos State partners firm to reduce housing deficit as developer seeks regulation for growth

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The Lagos State Government is partnering with a real estate firm, El-Salem Homes Nigeria Limited to create affordable housing for residents.

The move was part of efforts by the state to create affordable housing for citizens and also reduce housing deficit in the state.

Speaking at El-Salem Homes housing fair in company of directors in the ministry in Ajah area of the state, Commissioner, Ministry of Housing, Lagos State, Moruf Akinderu Fatai, who was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Wasiu Akewusola, said the event was one of the processes where Lagos was working on to reduce housing deficit and ensured every citizen had a home.

He said the state partners with developers that have passion for estate development and are financially capable to achieve the feat, adding that one of firms was El-Salem Homes, to deliver affordable housing to citizens.

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The Commissioner also mentioned other interventions the state had taken to tackle the challenges of affordable housing through effective partnerships with developers that had the capacity to deliver.

On funding, he added that for those who could not afford to buy a house, the state had initiated other plans to them to use the renting system.

In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of El-Salem Homes Nigeria Limited, Ben Gbade-Ojo said his firm was building every day to contribute its quota ensure every citizen has a home of his or her own.

In reducing housing challenges in the state and across the country, he told The Guardian how citizens could leverage on family home funds, mortgage banks and refinance institutions, whom he said, are working together to reduce housing deficit and ensure every citizen has a home.

Taking the participants round the phase one part of the construction, he said the firm stands for quality and timely delivery.

Proffering solution to the challenges in the real estate sector, Gbade-Ojo sought for adequate regulation to grow the sector.

He commended the state through Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASERA) for regulating the activities of real estate developers on how they sell their houses and plots of land.

“As they regulate, you have to register with them and get your license for you to genuinely do the business of real estate agent in Lagos. That is a step in the right direction.

“If you invest in housing and real estate through liable sources like us, your funds are secured. We ensure we work on availability to ensure all our houses are affordable to all Nigerians and even low income earners,” he said.

On her part, Head, Business Development, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, (NMRC), Mrs. Dorothy Obata called for a paradigm shift in the administration of mortgage as people have had their fingers burnt in the past because of mortgages.
According to her, NMRC provides liquidity for primary mortgage lenders and enlightens Nigerians on the issue of mortgages.

NMRC, she said, is collaborating with all stakeholders across the housing value chain to create awareness and enabling environment for mortgages.

She said: “Nigerians have the advantages and should not be afraid. What is the point of having a house over a period of 10 years and in 10 years you haven’t even able to complete that house, and by the time you are able to complete the house you already old to even climb the staircases. So, why not take a mortgage to build the house, move into the house, enjoy your life and you are paying slowly over a period of time. People should not be afraid of mortgage. Mortgages are working. AG mortgage Bank Plc. is here, NMRC will refinance mortgages given to any of these banks so long as you qualify, because we have qualifying criteria.”

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