Aisha Rabo and Naomi Gabriel
Professor Abimbola Windapo of the Department of Construction Economics and Management, University of Cape Town has said that affordability is the ease by which a house can either be purchased or rented. She also noted that households that pay more than 25% of their income on housing is said to be living in unaffordable housing.
These amongst other statements were contained in a presentation titled “Factors to Consider in The Provision of Affordable Housing” she made in Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos. She also enumerated that stakeholders in the real estate sector are all looking for solutions in the industry.
Mrs Windapo further said that some cities in Nigeria face a rapid growth driven by annual urbanization rate of 3.5% and the cities are defined by informal housing as the poorest seek to house themselves.
“Cities in the global South including Nigeria Lagos and Abuja may face rapid growth driven by annual urbanization rate of 3.5% and these cities are increasingly defined by informal housing typologies as the urban poor have to seek to house themselves, she explained.
“Informal settlements are regarded variously as either a problem because of how they look maybe because, they are not properly planned or they don’t look good. People have put together these structures to be able to shelter themselves. So, informal settlements are these two things, they are a problem to the side and sanitization problems and so on. They are also a solution provided by people to house themselves”.
Furthermore, she said that a study carried out in 2012 found out that 59% percent of the respondents who purchased housing live in unaffordable housing and that they purchased these houses that are above the 25 percent affordability level.
In addition, she said that if the impact of the issues in affordability is examined in-depth, an economic way of providing affordable houses for all, for the masses and these solutions can be implemented in providing affordable housing. “The more we look at the problem, the more we may be able to find solutions to the problems”, she stated.
The issues in affordable housing she said include, housing the nation which she said has always been a challenge for governments around the world and the issues found include Land Acquisition which she said is a main component of shelter is one of the problems, the building materials problem which she also said contributes to 50-60% of the total construction costs, housing finance and interest rates and finally, the income of the people.