Kingsley U.N Chikwendu
Housing affordability problems are mostly felt by the low income earners that consist of the young, singles and families. Of those who feel the problems more severe are lower-income earners who can only manage to rent a home than the low income earners that can still afford to purchase an apartment.
Today, many of these low income earners that are still in rented apartments may have given up hope of owning their homes. They are classified as real strugglers who are at risk of housing affordability failure and most times, can’t even afford payments of their rents when it’s due. This is the most pathetic part of it because, once a household or an individual cannot afford renewing a rental, it becomes inevitable to be thrown out to the streets. Imagine when a low income household cannot afford to rent a home, how do they manage other home basic needs? They are already facing double major problems out of the many – the problem of low income and the difficulty in affording rental.
What happens next? They get exposed to dangers and some ill vices, some of them end up becoming nuisance to the community, increasing the societal problems that are already existing.
For many, these housing problems are long-term, with no quick or fast solution in view especially, going by the lack of strict implementation and formulation of friendly housing policies by the government. The economic situation in the country today is this worse that it is expected that the low income families having housing affordability problems are expected to still be in the same problem at least for the next year.
So, why is housing affordability a problem?
The government, ruling housing authorities should understand that it is not just individuals or families that bear the brunt of housing affordability issues, the society too is at risk. It becomes risky for the community when environments are not kept, when there is high concentration of criminal activities, when there is lack of societal cohesion as a result of frequent relocations, when there is anger, envy against the elites or high income earners who are mostly targets for criminal activities carried out by miscreants from mostly poor family backgrounds.
The latter is caused by the increasing inequality existing between those who have access to homeownership and those who do not, and the policy of favoring urban cities more with decent housing than rural communities.