By Echeburu Oby
Housing is vital for the Nigerian populace, keying into the fundamentals for the provision of affordable housing in communities that requires to have sufficient housing amenities to meet the needs of Nigerians. Affordable housing, is one that is believed to be at the level of those with a median or low income as rated by government.
Housing a huge outflow of low and middle income families, it consumes near majority of a household income for low and middle income families, a house is also one of the major source of wealth.
Affordable Housing will continue to be an important consideration in light of the growing number of persons who are unable to afford to property ownership without assistance. The planning system, through the use of planning obligations and conditions, is one method of securing ‘affordable’ housing.
It can be said that affordable housing in the country is worsening in spite of housing delivery efforts made by both government and private sector organizations. In other words, middle and low-income earners are increasingly unable to afford decent housing supply despite continuous attempt at increasing housing stock by both formal and informal housing organizations in the country.
Land acquisition is feasibly the most important and complex piece of one of the problems of affordable housing. It entails confirmation of ownership, a survey that outlines the dimensions of the land to be acquired, determination of its fair market value and procurement through a fair process (in cases of public lands) or through negotiation in cases of private lands. If public land is also encroached on, the occupant does not possess full legal title and formal acquisition must be introduced through legal authorities.
Limits to affordable land must be overcome in other to provide more affordable housing. Land tenure system can be defined as the rights and institution that governs access to and use of land. Having access to land at an affordable price is fundamental to successful affordable housing strategies.
Affordable houses can be built by private developers, institutions, governments or landowners themselves. Self-building is especially common for small-scale projects on the outskirts of large cities or in smaller towns.
Some cities in the developed world are also encouraging self-building. In Almere, the Netherlands, citizens can buy or rent “serviced plots” that come with planning permission pre-applied. London has developed a “small sites portal”, where individuals, groups or social enterprise buyers can find sites, connect with lenders and companies that can help to customize homes (Parvin, 2018).
Whether self-built or developer-built, plan and building costs can expressively affect affordability.
Beside land acquisition, infrastructure development, materials and professional services (consultants, designers etc.). Construction and productivity can play a significant role in aggravating some of these costs, with positive social, economic and environmental impacts. If all these can be attained at suitable prices and without much stress in the acquisition process, provision of good and affordable materials, it will create more room for easy and affordable housing for citizens.