Stakeholders seek affordable, standard houses for Lagos residents
Stakeholders have decried over the poor condition of existing houses and lack of new houses, resolving that houses should be built up to standard, decent and affordable for residents in Lagos, especially for the low-income earners.
They recommended that other actors in housing provision, particularly those that are active in the space like cooperative societies, faith-based organisations and social organisations should target the housing needs of the people and provide houses.
They also urged cooperative societies to build on land they already own and ensure that adequate regulation and processing planning permits are done faster and cheaper.
The stakeholders reached the resolution in Lagos at the African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC) workshop organised by Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos and funded by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The one-day workshop had representatives from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), enforcement agencies and citizens of Lagos.
The workshop aimed at producing knowledge and bridging the skill for sustainable urbanisation, generate robust insight and evidence that will help improve living conditions, service delivery for all city residents, with a particular focus on disadvantaged communities.
It also looked into the thematic areas of interest, which are; structural transformation, safety and security, neighbourhood and district economic development and housing.
The housing domain lead, Dr. Basirat Oyalowo, advocated funding of housing cooperative societies, especially those supporting eco-friendly developments. She also called for an upgrade in areas categorised as slums and informal settlements.
Oyalowo said any home that has to be demolished due to safety standards must follow the right process.
“Care must be taken to ensure that the housing rights of people are safe guarded. If there has to be demolition, it should be done in a safe, equitable way with enough safeguard for those that are in that space, especially if it is a government promoted intervention,” she said.
The City Lead, ACRC Lagos, Prof. Taibat Lawanson, said ACRC is a six-year investment by FCDO to fund new, operationally-relevant research to address intractable development challenges in African cities. “Through a holistic approach, ACRC integrates systems thinking with rigorous political analysis to provide new insights designed to support urban reform efforts. ACRC aims to co-produce knowledge and then turn the research into meaningful action that tackles development challenges.
“Lagos, being a complex and dynamic city frequently experiencing contested political systems and rapid growth, is one of the focus cities selected in sub-Saharan Africa for the ACRC project. Lawanson stated that ACRC plans a reform coalition, which is partnerships between government, experts and civil society organisations (operating across public-private-third sector divides) and may incorporate the interests, ideas and actors from the communities and groups most directly affected by the issues at hand,” she said.
She explained that the research identified different problems and challenges of urban life, impacts and influences that are determining those problems and solutions that work for everybody across communities, business sector, government and civil society.
She added that the ACRC would be contributing to those solutions that have been developed by the researchers and seek to make them stronger, more visible and implementable to make the city safer, sustainable and resilient.
Lawanson said most of the solutions generated align with the Lagos State government’s development plan, noting that ACRC would be using the solutions as an entry point to pushing the conversation forward.