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Stakeholders to establish cooperative housing equity fund, seek property insurance

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
22 November 2021   |   4:02 am
As a form of self-help, stakeholders have resolved to establish Cooperative Housing Equity Fund (CHEF), using digital banking platform among individual housing off-takers and cooperatives.

As a form of self-help, stakeholders have resolved to establish Cooperative Housing Equity Fund (CHEF), using digital banking platform among individual housing off-takers and cooperatives.

To this end, a committee was mandated to deliver CHEF by the end of first quarter, 2022.

They also expressed need for insurance throughout the housing value chain, which would be promoted by insurance companies to promote insurance products for housing industry.

They made the resolutions at the end of the 4th Nigeria Affordable Housing Finance and Innovation Summit, orgainsed by NISH Affordable Housing Limited in Abuja.

The summit further resolved to encourage development of Fintech and Proptech Apps and other financial instruments that will facilitate data management of cooperatives, aggregation of savings of housing off-takers, promotion of trust, transparency and accountability and secure members savings from unscrupulous developers.

In view of grossly inadequate access to mortgage finance, the summit recommended a review of mortgage laws in Nigeria, especially compulsory monthly deduction of contributions to National Housing Fund (NHF) from salaries of workers, who have no chance of obtaining mortgage from Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

The summit further recommended that contributors to National Pension Fund should have easy access to 25 per cent of their Retirement Saving Account (RSA) balance towards housing equity, adding that modalities for this should be clearly stated in the Pension Act under review to remove any ambiguity.

They resolved to promote formation of primary housing Cooperatives across the country towards establishment of housing cooperative unions, state federations and national federation of housing cooperatives.

The minimum requirement for a National Federation of Housing Cooperatives is five states, spread across the six geographical zones of Nigeria. The Guardian learnt the Federal Department of Cooperatives shared the vision and pledged to facilitate the process.

The participants welcomed the use of innovative technologies for speedily delivering affordable and quality housing on a large scale. The summit resolved that traditional method of building has to be complemented with innovative technologies to significantly reduce housing deficit in Nigeria.

The summit appealed to the Federal Government for special intervention fund to increase access to off-takers finance in the same manner it has done in the agricultural and other sectors. The Central Bank of Nigeria is requested to mandate commercial banks to fund housing off-takers at not more than five per cent with relaxed conditions.

Furthermore, federal and state governments were implored to promote delivery of affordable housing through provision of land equity, infrastructure, incentives for production of building materials, tax credits, capacity building, waivers for importation of building technologies, easy processes and procedures.