Experts urge shift to low-income homes to beat housing deficit
Except the Federal Government and private developers focus more on production of homes for the low-income earners, existing deficit in the supply end of the market may continue to rise, experts have warned.
According to them, government needs to improve funding for the provision of affordable homes at lower prices for the middle and lower classes of the society, who are left out of accessibility window to homes.
The Managing Director, Refin Homes, Olatunde Macaulay who led the call during the commissioning of 18 unit Anchor Grounds housing estate and grounding breaking of Chelsea Court, in Lagos, emphasised that players in market should provide alternative housing solutions that add value to lives, especially the under-served spectrum, to cushion the 17 million housing deficit that has been bandied around for over 10 years.
Macaulay said the major issue in the sector is the absence of affordable homes for the majority of people who are mostly low-income earners stressing that the market favours the rich and the high network individuals.He declared that the government can’t handle the existing deficit alone, but should create an enabling environment for private operators through the provision of infrastructures like, good road network, and efficient transportation, water and power supply as well as reduction in the prices of building materials.
For him, “focus should be on providing affordable housing for the people based on what they want and what they could afford. Make and design flexible enough packages for the people to pay and contribute towards housing on monthly basis.”“ There has to be public/private partnerships and other private institutions such as ours, to help the government in reducing this huge housing deficit as soon as possible. We are excited to add new projects development pipeline. This aligns with strategy of building presence in Nigeria real estate market and to add momentum to plan to grow the market share overtime.î
Speaking on home financing, the Deputy Managing Director, Kazeem Owolabi, makes case for improved finance support in the housing market by government, for Nigerians to own their homes at affordable prices.He lamented that it was unacceptable that Nigerians work so hard yet, many of them cannot even think of owning their own homes.
“There is a need to give a tax rebate to manufacturers of building materials for building materials to be accessible to builders, government policy on accessing home finance for Nigerians must be friendly. Government is doing quite a number now, but there is need to improve it. These measures and others would make the market grow and grantee quality at all times. People donít need to struggle to own their own home. Houses should be built to people’s capacity to pay”, he said.
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