Experts seek law to tackle housing challenges

PHOTO: Architecture Lab

Stakeholders in the housing sector have advocated for a law that will help Nigerians surmount challenges facing the provision of affordable housing in the country.

They also said that time has come for government at all levels to leverage and unlock the potentials in that sector to improve the economy.

According to them, challenges such as poor financing, high cost of land acquisition and the difficulties in getting tittles to land could easily be addressed if relevant laws are enacted to nip them in the board.

Speaking on, ”Financing Affordable Housing in Nigeria, Issues,and Challenges”, a human settlement expert, Professor, Banji Oyeyinka said that time has come for the Nigerian government to enact relevant laws that will remove all obstacle such as high interest rates difficulty in land acquisition as well as massive provision of infrastructure.

Oyeyinka, a former director, UNHabitat, African region made this known in his keynote address to a two-day programme organized by the Nigeria Integrated Social Housing Cooperative Society Limited (NISH) in Abuja.

“We must quickly remove the scourge of poverty and deprivation and inequality in our cities and in urban centres through relevant laws, this is because sustainable housing is tied to the level of income, time has come for us to know that affordable housing is not a social issue but an economic issues, failure for government at all level to find solutions to these lingering problems, Nigerian cities will continue to witness influx of the rural populace to the city centres with its attendant overstretching infrastructures to the detriment of all”.

Earlier, the convener and founder of the NISH project, Mr Yemi Adelakun said he came up with the NISH idea with the aim of at mobilizing, profiling and empowering off-takers of affordable housing especially, retirees, political appointees, professionals , entrepreneurs, private sector employees, artisans and other in the informal sector.

He said that the most critical and most challenging in delivering affordable housing is Housing finance itself.

“We need finance to buy land, technologies, building materials, infrastructure and to pay workers and professionals, we also need finance to buy completed houses , finance is however, a scarce and very difficult resource, therefore, our task is to seek efficient means of increasing the supply and reducing the cost of both construction and mortgage finance, we must identify domestic and foreign sources as well as alternative options of financing affordable housing including equity financing”

The Head of service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita congratulated the convener and founder of NISH, for his vision in making franctic efforts to drive affordable housing initiative for the benefit of Nigerians.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office in the Office of the Head of Service, Mr. Ayodele Folayan, the HOS said that goverment will explore the potentials of the Federal Integrated Housing Scheme (FISH) and NISH to further drive affordable housing programme for the benefit of Nigerians.

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