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2020 offers new opportunities for Lagos home ownership

By Bertram Nwannekanma
06 January 2020   |   4:20 am
Faced with enormous housing shortages, which is compounded by huge number of people moving to Lagos on a daily basis in search of greener pastures...

Jakande Gardens, Igando, one of recent Lagos State government’s housing projects

Faced with enormous housing shortages, which are compounded by a huge number of people moving to Lagos on a daily basis in search of greener pastures, the year 2020 may offer residents golden opportunities to own decent homes.

This optimism, experts said is anchored on the prevailing trends in Lagos property market and several efforts by both formal and informal shelter providers to increase the state’s housing stocks.

With the last week signing of the State’s 2020 appropriation law of N1.168 trillion by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in which housing was made a priority, development experts said things will change for better for the 20 million people inhabiting a landmass of about 1,171.28 square kilometres.

According to them, with so many completed housing and ongoing projects, residents now have opportunities for outright purchase of houses from Lagos state government in various schemes across the state.

For instance, the Alhaji Lateef Jakande Gardens at Igando with a total of 492 units, has been completed.

The landmark project delivered with a multipurpose hall, mini water works, power supply and green areas is waiting for takers.

Other opportunities include the 360 housing units at Igbogbo 11, 774 housing units from Sangotedo cluster.

There were also 660 housing units at Odo Onosa/Ayandelu, 684 housing units in Egan-Igando Mixed Development scheme and 420 housing units through the LagosHoms Ajara in Badagry Division among others.

Beyond that was the 1000 housing units expected to be harvested from Joint Ventures on housing projects sited all over the State including Abraham Adesanya Estate, Iponri, Lekki and Idale, Badagry to mention a few.

Under Joint Venture scheme, the State Government provides unencumbered land to partners with proven capacity to build according to Government specifications.

A sharing formula is then agreed upon on the modalities of sharing the proceeds of the project after completion.

The state has also reduced the financial obstacles to house ownership in its Rent to Own Scheme.

The Guardian learnt that the entry requirements, which used to be more stringent have now been reduced to bring more people on the homeownership ladder, while there is also a solid plan for social housing, especially for those displaced as a result of emergencies, disasters or domestic violence.

A Lagos based realtor, Emmanuel Abiodun, who spoke to The Guardian on these developments, said the state government has demonstrated a desire to do things differently by continuing on laudable projects initiated by the predecessors.

Also, an estate surveyor and valuer, Ojo Makinde said professionals in the built sector would be the biggest beneficiaries in the opportunities in the year.

He, however urged government to work on more affordable housing offerings, as many residents cannot afford the cost of the available housing units.

But, the vice chairman of Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Institutions of Town Planners, (NITP), Lookman Oshodi said the success recorded in the state’s housing delivery cannot be divorced from private sector partnership.

According to him, in anyinvestment market, private sector possesses ability to navigate the complex market and rapid turnaround period.

“Majority of housing in Nigeria are the products of private capital, the fledging energy sector currently relies on funding from the private sector while infrastructure for tax model is being introduced in the road sector. All these are considerable history of private sector financing of infrastructure and pointer of interest to make further contributions”, he said.

Oshodi, who was one of the brains behind a recent training programme in Lagos on “Public Private Partnership for Affordable Housing and Housing Finance” in search for better approaches for solving housing finance challenges for the low-income earners and fundraising for housing projects, said the state has demonstrated the zeal to provide enabling environment because for private sector to make effective contributions, government must play enabling role and create accountability platform that will draw private sector funding.

Confirming these developments, Lagos Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said the ministry has set in motion plans for more housing units in planned and liveable communities that meet up with global standards in terms of infrastructural support in 2020.

The plans, he said include, completion of all existing housing projects through both budgetary allocation and Joint Ventures, where 3,500 housing units are targeted for delivery.

The Commissioner said 14 of the existing Joint Venture projects are now fully operational through the efforts of the Ministry.

According to him, with close supervision and monitoring, the expected target shall be attained.

He also informed of an Estate transferred to the Ministry of Housing by the Ministry of the Environment. The project, he said, consists of 1,2 bedroom flats built from Ecological Fund. This Estate, which is 80 percent completed, is to be used for social housing.

The Commissioner stressed that the ministry plans to conceive and execute more housing schemes based on availability of unencumbered land.

Others were to develop strategies that will optimise the limited land space available in Lagos state to provide more homes for the residents as well as pursue existing structures that are in place for speedy provision of houses through Public Private Partnership and Joint Ventures.

“Presently, 14 Joint ventures have been revitalized to deliver about 1000 homes before the end of last quarter of 2020”,
he added.

For the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola, there is also a regeneration exercise, which will involve reconstruction of dilapidated structures and repair of decayed infrastructures.

The effort, he said, would take cognisance of access to quality health facilities, efficient public transportation; refuse collection service through and other structures that could promote robust neighborhood and community activities.

Akewusola said the ministry has made concerted efforts to build good quality houses at very affordable cost via budgetary allocation and by partnering with the private sector.

“The state government grants access to homes through outright purchase, Rent to Own scheme and a mortgage system that is convenient.

“The thrust of the Rent to Own scheme, since houses are perhaps the most expensive capital expenditure that a person will make in life is to allow first time owner who is a resident of Lagos State to pay only 5 per cent of the cost of the house, the rest of the cost is spread over 10 years on a monthly payments at a rate not more than 33 per cent of the individual’ s income.

“This is to allow him or her to meet other needs. With this, an average citizen only needs to aspire to have a job either in the formal or informal sector that can assure him or her of regular income that will enable him to pay a monthly sum n the house, more or less like rent. At the end of the period of ten years, the house is fully paid for. This has greatly reduced the financial obstacles to house ownership.

“With the support of the government, we can propose that 3,500 housing units with the exclusion of 492 from Alhaji Lateef Jakande Gardens, Igando will be made available through direct budgetary allocation in the year 2020”, he added.