— propose housing commission and trust fund —
Naomi Gabriel —
During a session at the recently ended Abuja International Housing Show themed “Building Support for Affordable Housing Agenda through Collaboration”, stakeholders spoke on ensuring collaboration in the delivery of affordable housing for low and middle income earners.
While suggesting for a public-private partnership among state governments and organised private sector, developers, academics, landowners, building material suppliers and manufacturers, they also called for the setting up of state affordable housing commissions.
One of the stakeholders, Olukemi Olomola-Sijuwade, the Managing Director, Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company Limited said the role of the government should be limited to creating policy and regulatory environment for the delivery of affordable housing.
According to him, “the government’s planning departments should by law ensure that adequate land is available and dedicated for affordable housing based on data on housing need. In the same vein, developers could focus on delivery of housing in many cases specialising in specific market segments.
“On the financing side, mortgage providers should focus on ensuring the availability of mortgages and limiting the exit risk of developers. For the affordable housing agenda to make any meaningful impact, there must be a synergy of all stakeholders and building support for the affordable housing agenda”, Olomola-Sijuwade said.
Read more: 15th Abuja International Housing Show 2021
While recommending that the private and public sector led by a representative board should jointly manage the commission, including all stakeholders on rotational leadership, she added that the proposed commissions should be responsible for carrying out a housing needs study every five years, engage in capacity building and training programmes; ensuring the planning system sets aside adequate land to meet housing needs by allocating lands for affordable housing and regeneration.
The commission she expressed, should be in charge of managing/facilitating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund (HTF) in conjunction with the government issuing long-term bonds; providing independent statistics and data on yearly housing delivery; regulation of developers, including maintaining quality standards; consumer protection by checking defects in insurance and distilling policy to execution.
“One tool that can be used to achieve the required funding challenge is setting up a HTF with the specific purpose of creating and preserving housing for low and moderate-income individuals within the states,” she further maintained.
Principal Private Sector Specialist of African Development Bank (AFDB), Emmanuel Akinwumi, called for paradigm shift from silo housing development to building as communities; collaboration in the building of housing infrastructure, financing, structures and services.
He also sought for partnership in affordable housing ownership and affordable rentals, including rent-to-own and collaboration in strengthening policies and laws for protecting property rights, and building standards.x
Akinwumi wants the establishment and implementation of laws property occupancy oversights to deal with persons abusing their authorised land-use and turning themselves to noxious neighbours as well as reforms in land ownership to post-construction maintenance.
In addition, the Managing Director, UACN Property Development Company (UPDC), Odunayo Ojo, said there is need to leverage on collaboration such as Public-Private Partnership (PPP), collaboration among players in the housing sector and players in other sectors to solve existing problems.