Friday , June 21 2024

Lagos moves to tackle housing accessibility challenges

…to consider low, medium income earners

The Lagos State Government yesterday said that it has begun working on plans to increase access to decent and quality homes for the low and medium income earners in the state, describing the move as part of the transformation agenda of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

The state Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai , who disclosed this during a site inspection of some of the ongoing State-owned Housing Schemes, said that the state was moving ahead to implement strategies that will improve access to decent homes in the state, having successfully completed and commissioned ten housing estates in the past two years.

According to him, the state government is looking into the issue of accessibility of decent homes through a multidimensional approach that will reduce these financial barriers to housing.

He added that the state government is fine-tuning a financial mechanism tagged Lagos Affordable Housing Development Trust Fund, which he described as a financial product that will bring succour to both property developers and intending home owners.

Akinderu-Fatai said: “The Fund will reduce the challenge of financing housing development as well as empower people particularly the low and medium income earners to access housing without undue financial stress.

“Having successfully completed and commissioned ten housing estates in the past two year, and working hard to deliver our various ongoing schemes, we are moving forward to implement strategies that will improve access to decent homes in the State. The State Government has completed various Housing schemes located at Igando, Lekki Phase1, Lekki Phase 2, Igbokushu, Nob Oluwa, Idale Badagry, Iponri, Igbogbo amongst others, while rounding up works on six others sited at Odo-Onasa/Ayandelu, Resettlement Scheme Agbowa, Sangotedo Phase1, Omole Magodo, Gbagada and Ibeshe which is being built by the Lagos State Property Development Corporation.”

Akinderu-Fatai, however, underscored the fact that the housing challenge in Lagos is complex because of the continued and uncontrollable influx of people from all over the nation, noting that given the rate at which the population of the State is increasing, there must be proactive measures to ensure that governmental interventions result in substantial positive impacts in the lives of the people.

He also reiterated that the Lagos Affordable Housing Development Trust Fund which is being prepared in collaboration with Arctic Infrastructures is the State’s response to the need for financing products that are domesticated to solve it’s peculiar housing challenges.

He said while global financing models are attractive, they may not address the unusual problems of Lagos State.He pointed out that the provision of mass and social housing is a key agenda of the State government but the impact can only be felt when there is a structured financing mechanism that is based on predictable population growth.

The commissioner added that apart from the ‘Rent to Own’ scheme which gives the opportunity of repayment over a period of 120 months, the State is also looking at more workable financing options that will help the informal sector.

“We have to formalize the informal sector through cooperative associations and artisans guilds so that majority of our people can take advantage of a financing product that supports payments on installment”.

He also added that the fund will encourage more vertical construction of homes by government and private investors to optimize the land space available in the state.

Akinderu Fatai seized the opportunity to point out that the commitment of the State government is unequivocal and that “Lagos State will continue to work relentlessly until more Lagosians are brought on the home ownership ladder. Building more homes is our way of improving the standard of living, increasing economic engagement through provision of construction jobs and also opening up our rural areas”

He also unraveled the State Government plan to construct two workers villages as part of a global plan to transform the State into a 21st century economy that is distinct and comparable to others in the world.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Housing Mr Wasiu Akewusola, said that “the uniqueness of the financing package is the fact that it will be targeted at low income earners and the informal sector and can be accessed by both construction companies and homeseekers and will be made up of contributions made by both public and private sector.

He explained that the fund will also cater to training and capacity building and upgrading of artisans, development of innovative building technology, sustainable housing developments and renewable of slums.

About Akanbi Abdullahi

Akanbi cut his teeth in Journalism after leaving the Federal Polytechnic, Offa with a National Diploma in Mass Communication and proceeded to the University of Abuja to study the English Language. He is a Teacher, Project Manager, IT Consultant, a Backend Software Engineer and a Blogger.

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