Gabriel Enenche —
Affordability of housing remains the fastest-growing and most pervasive housing challenge in this part of the world as housing costs have increased with significant implications for access to adequate and affordable housing, particularly for vulnerable groups like the low and average income earners.
Provision of affordable housing in as much as it should be seen as a necessity, should be understood as a process and not an end product. For this, there need to be a change of approach, an integrative approach. This means that more focus should be directed on creating better policies for the processes that can lead to affordable housing as a product.
Maybe, we are still living in the shadows of our colonial master and as such, the country is still held bound imaginary. The country need to deviate or come out from the colonial siege and create its own identity. Concentrating more on city development, such plan creates a ‘privilege’ impression in the minds of many, like it is the ‘privileged and rich’ that are meant to dwell in cities or benefit from the resources, luxuries and space that a city offers, leaving the poor or average masses with thoughts that they are constrained to live in slums.
It is time for the government, the real estate developers to do more, help develop affordable housing, link up with the slums and develop sustainable cities.
It is advised that rather concentrating on the provision of affordable housing, the authorities should pay more attention to the processes that will ease the developing of affordable homes, especially, putting subsidy in the context. This will make the channels towards having good affordable housing easier for the masses, the low income earners.
It is possible that housing may not be directly subsidized, probably, due to huge costs of resources but, the government can help subsidize materials, create favorable or friendly policies or options for the masses to build their own homes with basic facilities included.
This will further enhance improvement in health, reduce or stop the spread of communicable and other environmental diseases, improve security in the area, among other benefits.
Raising awareness and advocating for this change can make a difference for low income earners across towns and states in the country. It means giving the poor and average masses a voice that will ensure that their families have a decent home to live in.
There is still time and hope for the Nigerian authorities to turn the country’s urbanization problems to development or progress. Urban areas are finding hard to withstand any more population growth because more and more persons are still pouring in search of greener pastures.