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Low-income earners must get 20% of houses – FG

By on February 27, 2013

The Federal Government on Tuesday said that developers of new estates in the country must, henceforth, incorporate between 15 and 20 per cent low-income houses in their projects.

This, according to the government, is in line with plans of ensuring affordable housing and reducing the 18 million housing-unit deficit in the country and the challenge of building one million houses per year.

Speaking in Abuja during the inauguration of the Board of Directors for the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Amal Pepple, said the directive was borne out of the need to provide sustainable housing for low-income earners.

She said, “I have directed that housing estate developers, FMBN and the Federal Housing Authority must deliver 15 to 20 per cent low-income houses. This is because when you sell the more expensive ones, it makes up for the ones that are low-income.

“In fact, we have an estate that we are building in Kuje, where a three-bedroom semi-detached building is N6m. This is one way of making houses affordable as well as to check the issue of housing deficit in the country.”

According to Pepple, the government is making arrangements with dealers of building materials to achieve this and to make housing accessible to individuals who may not afford as much as N6m.

“With the Nigerian Mortgage and Finance Corporation complementing a recapitalised FMBN under the new board, I am confident that many of the challenges associated with low mortgage penetration in the country in the past will be addressed sooner than later,” she added.

The minister urged the board to develop alternative funding mechanisms that would match the needs of mass housing delivery.

She urged members of the board to work with stakeholders for sustainable housing delivery, especially affordable low-cost housing, social housing and cooperative housing.

In his acceptance speech, the Chairman of the Board, Chief Olabisi Ogunjobi, said the members were delighted and privileged to have been chosen by President Goodluck Jonathan to serve.

He stressed that an efficient housing sector would contribute immensely to economic development.

Ogunjobi said, “The housing sector development is an effective instrument for stimulating economic growth, wealth creation, society stability and employment generation all over the world. Indeed, housing construction is one of the most used indices for gauging the economic situation in most developed countries.

“It is perhaps no coincidence that the global economic recession of 2008/2009 and whose effect is still very much around today was precipitated by a crisis in the housing sector. The lesson for us as a nation is that a sustained economic development must be hinged on proactive housing sector development.”