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Experts canvass improved funding for affordable housing

By Victor Gbonegun
04 November 2019   |   4:37 am
To bridge the housing deficit, some players in the sector have canvassed the need for authorities to build decent and affordable houses for the low and middle-income groups.

[FILES] Housing. Photo: PEXELS

To bridge the housing deficit, some players in the sector have canvassed the need for authorities to build decent and affordable houses for the low and middle-income groups.

They say, making funds available to real estate developers and mortgage institutions to develop low-cost houses for the masses can bring a change to the industry.

They also said if that was done, it would increase activities in the Nigerian construction industry and create more employment opportunities for artisans and others affiliated to building the production process.

Making the call in Lagos during an interview with The Guardian on the sidelines of the yearly edition of affordable housing summit organized by Crystal tee square ltd, the Executive Secretary, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), Mr. Kayode Omotosho said improve funding initiatives are needed for the developers and other professionals in the industry to boost the citizen’s ability to access affordable homes options.

He lamented that the majority of Nigerians currently lacked quality and affordable homes due to the fact the available homes are those developed for the high end of the market while awareness on the various platforms/windows through which low-income earners could access opportunities for funds are not made available by the major stakeholders.

He stressed that there was the need to tackle issues of high-interest rate, which he observed was a disincentive matter to Nigerians in accessing housing.

“Authority needs to tackle the issue of interest rate because it is a very sensitive matter. The operators shouldn’t be telling Nigerians stories from two-sides of the mouth and they need to agree with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the kind of moderation that should be on the interest rate.

“The operators should team up with a government that through public-private partnership and initiatives, housing could be made available”, he said.

Omotosho noted that land titles, which is in the hand of government at both the federal, and state require a multi-stakeholders -private/public sector initiative and investors friendly policy to access as a means to tackle the existing deficit in the sector.

The Managing Director, Crystal tee square ltd, Mr. Olatunde Oloyede who said the government shouldn’t hands-off its roles in housing provisions called for the right policy framework that ensure that decent housing for all is achievable.

He stressed that if Nigerians continue to depend on government for housing provision amid the age-long neglect by authorities, homeownership for an average Nigerian would continue to be impossible.

“If you look at the humongous problems in the housing sector, owning a home by Nigerians is still possible but it would take determination and by setting a target by individuals, taking action and having a strong belief that it’s achievable. The reduction of equity contribution by the government for participants in homeownership schemes to zero percent is a laudable initiative by the government.

“The impact of policy in Nigeria housing industry would be massive if it is well implemented”. If proper funding is channeled to the housing sector, it would trickle down on the numbers of artisans, electricians, bricklayers and POP experts that would benefit.”

On his part, real estate investor, Mr. Jide Ologun who spoke on, “Be your own landlord” urged the Nigerians to invest in real estate as a viable option that could generate passive income and a good long-term investment with increasing value.

“Investment in the industry can never go down to zero, even during a difficult time and unbalanced economic reality”, he said.