Our Stand (59)
According to the UN Habitat, “by the beginning of the third millennium, it is estimated that 1.1 billion people live in inadequate housing conditions in urban areas alone. In many cities of developing countries, more than half of the population live in informal settlements, without security of tenure and in conditions that can be described as life and health threatening. Among an estimated 100 million homeless people around the world, available data suggest that increasing proportions are women and children”.
Talking about “security of tenure”, as referenced above, we are talking of security of land title.
Bringing this to the Nigerian context, more number of our population are resorting to informal settlements or slums, in poor quality housing conditions, at least, going by what we are witnessing today – poor supply of decent affordable homes, social housing and harsh economic conditions. There is an urgent immediate need for the provision of quality affordable housing, nationwide.
As wages of the low income earners go down or inflation rate rises, the percentage of income spent on housing needs rises too. That means that families will spend considerably more than 45 percent of their income on housing.
The high class citizens in the country mostly are not perturbed by housing problems because as affluent citizens that can afford quality homes, they need their housing improved and have the money to make repairs whenever the need arises. Even when it seems what they have does not match their present status, they can easily upgrade to better ones.
The ruling authorities in the country need to sincerely work out ways on how to improve the quality of housing conditions for the poor and needy, the low and lower income earners in the country.
Discussions and implementation of housing policies should be centered on improving the quality of housing for those who cannot afford to build, rent or buy a home that carries the basic infrastructural facilities that come with it.
Doing this, ensures that everyone finds decent homes in the sense that it should be in a state of being repairable, no crumbling plaster, a functioning plumbing and wiring, operational windows that open and close with a good functioning net that prevents mosquitoes, among other important necessities.
Safety with regards to all equipment in the house being safe for usage and in good working conditions and affordable housing from the perspective that it is within their reach, regardless of cost, it should meet some basic standards of livability.
Setting this as a priority, the government must strive to find ways of building affordable, low-income homes, also, using existing structures to help create a society where everyone will have a good place to live in.