Affordability crisis: Senate pushes for rental housing
Amid growing housing shortages, especially for the low and medium income group, the Senate Committee on Housing has urged members of the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) to adopt rental housing in addressing affordability crisis in the country.
The committee pledged to give all necessary support and ensure that all necessary laws that would create enabling environment for effective housing delivery and mortgage administration are favourably addressed.
The association is the umbrella organization for all federal and state housing agencies, housing research institutes, some mortgage establishments and some private property developers.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Hon. Sam Egwu, who gave the promise at the investiture ceremony of AHCN 19th President and the inauguration of the new executive council, said their election as officers of the association is a call to serve the people and nation in provision of affordable housing.
He said: “We are aware of the enormous housing challenges and the increasing housing deficit that is quoted to be in excess of over 17 million in the country. As major stakeholders in the housing sector, the housing corporations have greater roles to play in mitigating this huge deficit.”
Egwu who also chaired the event, noted that homelessness is a serious issue and it is becoming a plaque confronting many people in our modern days. “Many are unable to pay their rents and have been chased out by landlords who are not ready for any story. And for those who struggle to pay their rents, the pressures and anxiety that come with payment of such rent in advance of one or two years from a salary that you are yet to earn monthly in arrears cannot be imagined.
“If you have lived in a tenanted house and you could not pay your own rent when due, that is when you will appreciate the discomfort of homelessness. A larger percentage of our people lives in substandard rented apartments and are subjected to the whims and caprices of shy lock landlord.”
AHCN President, Dr. Victor Onukwugha said he will continue to toe the path of the founding fathers and past leaders that sacrificed their time, energy and resources to bring AHCN to this level. “ l promise to put in my very best to ensure that the labour of our past heroes, especially in ensuring the increased availability of dwelling houses in Nigeria are not in vain,” he said.
Onukwugha disclosed that a 10-point agenda to address various issues militating against mass housing provision in Nigeria has been launched to sustain the ideals of the association. “In the recent past, this objective has become a herculean task as housing sector has been saddled with myriads of challenges that seem insurmountable despite various policies and efforts put in place by successive governments,” he said.
The association, he said will explore all collaboration options from all stakeholders and ready to work together to provide affordable housing for the people. “We shall promote our relationship with all professional bodies, the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), Building Materials Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (BUMPAN), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Ltd (NMRC), Family Homes Funds Ltd (FHFL), National Assembly, Security Exchange Commission (SEC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and above all our state governors to create favourable atmosphere for mass housing provision.”