Lagos to float housing fund

The Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai,  has said the government will soon unveil an Affordable Housing Development Trust Fund to bridge housing gap in the state.

He spoke to The Nation during the inspection of ongoing projects at the weekend.

According to him, the fund, to be established with Arctic Infrastructure, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), is  intended to support property developers and home owners.

“The fund will reduce the challenge of financing housing development and empower people, particularly the low- and medium income earners to access housing without undue financial stress. When you talk of construction, the development partners are people in business and people who are going to live in these houses,” he said.

He explained that owing to the scarcity of funds to meet its projects, the  government would collaborate with international or local partners to deliver homes at low rates.

“We are also looking at how to get mortgages below 10 per cent as well as how people who want funds can access it below 10 per cent. At present, it is about 22 per cent and that is not really good in terms of shelter delivery,” the commissioner said.

He noted that the state government is looking into the issue of accessibility of decent homes through a multidimensional approach that will reduce financial barriers to housing, hence the reason the government is fine-tuning a financial mechanism tagged “Lagos Affordable Housing Development Trust Fund.”

This, according to him, is a financial product that will bring succour to property developers and intending home owners.

Akinderu-Fatai said the Fund would 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.

He however noted that the challenge in the state was complex due to high influx of people from across the country; hence the government’s proactive steps to meet the demands resulting from the population upsurge to bridge the housing gap.

“Having successfully completed and inaugurated 10 housing estates  in the last two years, 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,” Akinderu-Fatai said.

He said the government has completed housing schemes  at Igando, Lekki Phase1, Lekki Phase 2, Igbokushu, Nob Oluwa, Idale Badagry, Iponri, Igbogbo, among others, while completing work on another six 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.

He listed other housing schemes being undertaken by the government to include Odo Onasa-Ayandelu, Agbowa  Resettlement Scheme, Sangotedo,Omole/Magodo, Gbagada and Ibeshe, Egan- Igando and Sangotedo Phase 2 as also receiving attention.

These schemes with others at Itamarun Epe and Ajara in Badagry as well as joint venture schemes will yield over 7,000 homes by the third anniversary of this Administration.

He however pointed out the positive impact of governmental intervention is hampered by the twin issue of high cost of funding for investors and people seeking home ownership through mortgage.

He noted 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 on the people.

He pointed out that provision of  mass and social housing is a key agenda of the state government but the impact could only be felt when there is a structured financing mechanism that is based on population growth.

Apart from the Rent to Own Scheme, which gives opportunity of repayment over 120 months, the state is also looking at more workable financing options that will help the informal sector.

Source: Leadership NG

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