FG launches national cooperative housing development scheme
Following the overhaul of the Federal Government’s housing policy, a new plan has come on stream that offers affordable housing estate construction finance to cooperatives in the country.
Known as the National Cooperative Housing Development Scheme (NHDS), the initiative promoted by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is meant to boost the delivery of affordable housing to Nigerian workers.
Under the scheme, workers are encouraged to organise themselves into structured cooperatives; collectively purchase a piece of land, get an architect to design the types of houses that they want and can afford.
The underlying principle of the scheme is to promote the targeted building of housing stock that speaks to the peculiar financial needs and incomes of workers within the low- and medium-income bracket by focusing on houses that they can afford.
In the scheme, FMBN provides affordable housing estate construction finance to the cooperatives through reputable developers under the bank’s cooperative housing development loan portfolio. Members of the cooperatives are expected to join the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme and make monthly contributions of 2.5 per cent of their salaries.
Upon completion of the housing estates, the FMBN will package NHF mortgage loans of up to N15million to the members of the cooperatives at nine per cent interest rate per annum with tenors of up to 30 years depending on the age of the contributors through one of its primary mortgage institutions.
Meanwhile, the first set of FMBN funded 154-housing unit at the Cooperative Estate in Kuje, Abuja under the scheme was unveiled recently by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to mark the official kick-off of the NCHDS.
The affordable housing project, named WoodHill estate, is a product of FMBN’s N997million Cooperative Housing Development Loan to Akacare Multipurpose Cooperative Society for the construction of quality, decent and affordable housing units for its members that are registered contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme.
The first phase of the project consists of 77 housing units, already packaged for the provision of NHF loans to members of the AkaCare Cooperative Society. This comprises 40 units of two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows at the selling price of N7.5million and 37 units of three-bedroom detached bungalows at the selling price of N9.5million.
In his remarks at the event, the FMBN Managing Director, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, an architect, stated that the housing project is an affirmation that the NHF scheme is meeting its mandate of delivering houses that are well-built, decent and affordable to Nigeria workers, especially those within the medium and low-income bracket.
Dangiwa added that the estate is fully serviced with basic infrastructure including an internal road network, electricity, and waterworks to create a conducive and livable environment for residents.
He assured the Minister that the second phase of the project is on course. He added that FMBN would provide additional finance to complete the 2.1-kilometer access road.
“This is our socio-economic contribution to opening up this area of Kuje for other real estate developments. This project has created 1,309 direct jobs to the local environment,” he said.
The FMBN boss thanked the minister for his visionary leadership and aggressive drive to deepen cooperatives as a veritable tool for the provision of affordable housing to Nigerian workers.
Earlier, Fashola stated that the commissioning of the estate marks the official flag-off the NHDS. “FMBN as an agent of the Buhari administration is addressing the problem of housing affordability frontally. I commend the Board and management of FMBN for this first in a series of many events that define our new partnership with Cooperative Societies.
Fashola decried the prevalence of empty houses in Nigerian cities saying that they speak eloquently to the problem that FMBN in collaboration with the developer has solved for members of Akacare Cooperative Society.
The minister wants Nigerian workers to organize themselves, acquire their own land, design what they want to build, structure themselves into registered cooperatives, get proper titles for the land and a planning permit, after which they can approach FMBN for a loan to build.
The Chairman, FMBN Board of Directors, Dr. Adewale Adeeyo, pleaded for the increase of FMBN’s capitalisation to N500billion. He noted that the injection of the funds would boost FMBN’s capacity to scale up its activities and makes a greater impact on tackling the housing deficit.