The Managing Director of Family Homes Fund [FHF], Femi Adewole has called on stakeholders in Nigeria’s housing sector to ensure that houses should nòt just be built but, be closer to the places of work of the masses. He also, emphasized on the plans of Family Homes Funds in the next half a decade and what the future holds for the low income earners in the country.
“What must our response be to that as an industry and practitioners”? He asked. Houses should be built close to where people wanted to live, built near where people work. One of the key issues that we as housing practitioners today must address is that, it is not just about building affordable houses for people that are of low income, it is about building them in locations and places where it’s sustainable and will allow them not just to live but, to actually have access to work, which ultimately goes towards improving their quality of life”.
“Accomplishments challenge us that we must do more, we must think and act more, perhaps, talk less. Today, we live in very challenging times, the imagined economic scenarios that we now face, not just in Nigeria but, the rest of the world will test our resolve.
“There will be particularly real impact on people on low income. In this case, for Nigerians on low income as we work our way into and out of another recession”.
Adewole, a former Managing Director of Kenyan based African finance institution, Shelter Afrique, also emphasized on some housing issues that need to be resolved, citing planning, the use of local materials and the need to partner with not just the private sector but, government. He said planning plays a prominent role in the delivery of affordable housing.
“The role of planning in our housing deliveries more often than not, including the large number of homes that my own organization is promoting, we are finding that those houses are being located and developed at the edge of our urban centers. That means that although, we may be successful in reducing the cost of housing, we are introducing to a number of them another cost, which is the cost of transporting themselves to work and back home.
“We must leverage the power that planning has to set aside lands in the center of our city for housing that is available for the low income earners. A sustainable city is an inclusive city, not an exclusive that will ensure that only the rich live in good locations and those who are on low income are located out of sight. Housing professionals should engage with the planning professionals on the matter of land use in our society, this will have a real impact on the quality of life of people on low income as we navigate what will no doubt be a challenging economic times going forward.
“If we can learn to bring solutions in times of crisis, it means that organizations like NBBRI fully resourced, single-handedly supported, will be able to bring forward solutions that one million and two million naira houses that we all aspire for, can be beautifully built at affordable rates to the large proportion of our fellow citizens.
“The final point I will make is the need for us to work in partnership that must go beyond just industry practitioners, it must include the government and a single focused approach to what role does each player in the market play to ensure that we are able to accelerate the delivery of the housing that we need to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are taken care of, Adewole concluded.