‘Ten­ants spend over 60% in­come on rent’

Daily Trust - - PROPERTY - Sto­ries by Mustapha Suleiman

This year’s edi­tion of the an­nual Abuja Hous­ing Show (AHS) has come and gone with the hous­ing sec­tor stake­hold­ers leav­ing in its trail a ro­bust and far-reach­ing de­ci­sion on how to move the hous­ing sec­tor for­ward.

In a com­mu­niqué is­sued at the end of the 10th edi­tion of the show en­ti­tled: “Ex­pand­ing Ac­cess to Af­ford­able Hous­ing in Africa’’ the par­tic­i­pants ob­served that there is the grow­ing need to ex­pand ac­cess to hous­ing in Nige­ria and Africa and that the im­pli­ca­tions of the high deficit in hous­ing stork is that ten­ants now pay over 60% of their dis­pos­able in­come on hous­ing in­stead of the 20-30% ad­vo­cated by the UN.

They also called for ef­fec­tive mort­gage sys­tem with in­dige­nous tech­ni­cal in­puts and pri­vate par­tic­i­pa­tion, not­ing that there are se­ri­ous bar­ri­ers to hous­ing pro­vi­sion in Nige­ria and there is the need for proper amend­ment of the laws and the con­sti­tu­tion in this re­gards.

The com­mu­niqué reads in part: “Com­mer­cial banks’ lend­ing is un­af­ford­able. The Land Use Act of 1978 needs to be re­pealed.

There is no quick fix to Nige­rian hous­ing prob­lems - we need to ad­dress all the chal­lenges. Mas­ter plans have in­di­cated de­vel­op­ment prob­lems, and de­vel­op­ment stan­dards and pro­ce­dures are due for re­form, hence, the cre­ation of slum set­tle­ments. There is no doubt that Nige­ri­ans can and are build­ing houses. What is needed is ac­cess to af­ford­able hous­ing. But, there is need to de­fine af­ford­able hous­ing, know­ing that a 100% home own­er­ship is a utopia. We must de­fine Af­ford­able Hous­ing.’’

They stressed that af­ford­able hous­ing can cre­ate jobs as it has a large mar­ket in mil­lions while call­ing for mea­sures to be put in place to pre­vent the rich from buy­ing off po­ten­tial low in­come houses as well as for the in­volve­ment of govern­ment at all lev­els of hous­ing pro­vi­sion de­lib­er­a­tions.

“Govern­ment should and need to be in­volved, be­cause only 54% eq­uity con­trib­uted has worked. Govern­ment can pro­vide land cheaply to re­duce cost by 25%. Govern­ment can pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture to re­duce cost by an­other 25%. Mort­gage loans can be amor­tized suc­cess­fully when de­ducted from source.

“Most Nige­ri­ans are liv­ing in slums with no ac­cess roads, wa­ter and light. We need ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion not new built houses. For ex­am­ple, in 1977, roofing loan was in­tro­duced. Since it takes 15-25 years to build a house due to lack of fi­nance and, not land, then mas­sive ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion through in­stru­ments like home com­ple­tion loan can help. Co­op­er­a­tives can also come in be­cause there is no col­lat­eral but mem­ber­ship of a co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­ety,’’ said the com­mu­niqués.

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