By Echeburu Oby
Today around the world, the global community stood still while accessing the stock of the state of habitable environment. The housing sector has been renowned for its importance when it comes to stimulating the economic growth and creating employment opportunities in the country.
Nigeria as a country has an estimated housing deficit of about 20 million units, with an annual incremental estimate of about 900,000 units.
There is a flared gap between needs and expectation on one hand and the reality on the other. Over the years we can say that some of the major factors that have been affecting the delivery of houses to the masses can be traced to the unstable economy, high cost of land, documentation process, high interest and inflation rates, inadequate infrastructures and inaccessibility to low-interest finance.
The theme for the year 2020 World Habitat Day is “Housing for All – A Better Urban Future and Global Observance’’ which we can say was created due to the realization of the challenges that the world has been experience in the provision of affordable housing. The delivery of adequate, accessible and affordable housing is definitely critical to Nigeria’s restructuring and development program.
The Federal Government had allotted linked Directive Guidelines in the support of local content necessities and had announced the provision of N500 billion for the resurgence of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), which is anticipated to boost the cash flow of mortgage institutions for the delivery of affordable housing in the country.
The Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects (ANCA) identifies the task of achieving this goal. The association advocates that Development Models such as the State Budgetary Finance Commitments (SBFC), Designated Consolidated Housing Fund (DCHF), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Private Mortgage Institutions (PMI), group formations for crowd-funding, CDAs/Unions/Cooperative, REIT, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) financing etc. with the government’s intervention through attractive incentives as a social responsibility to engender trust, confidence and interest of investors.
Architects, in the discharge of their Commercial Societal Duties need to work with the inhabitants, rather than imposing ideas, by presenting to them different approach(es) towards humanizing their living condition and getting a decent safe built environment.
Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects, Nigerian Architects and its Statutory Professional Regulatory Agency (ARCON) stated that the government and development partners can achieve this through the creation of appropriate value for needs assessment, creative design solutions; effective, efficient and acceptable pro-poor policies and programmes that will engender equitable development and investments in affordable and social housing projects.