The quest for affordable housing, which has rather become a burning national issue, came to the fore at the Real Estate Unite Conference held in Lagos recently.
The confab looked at Affordable Housing Demand and Supply using a strong strategic partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Housing.
Speaking at the conference tagged “Jump-starting Nigeria real estate for global investments” held recently, the Intervention Lead of Growth and Employment for States2 (GEMS), Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, highlighted the enormous opportunities and economic prosperity of affordable housing development for discerning investors and government seeking to create employment and create wealth.
One of the Panel discussants at the conference, Mr. Olujide Ojo of Mutual Benefits Homes & Properties explored a case study of Mutual’s housing development strategies targeted at the lower and middle market, primarily “housing for the working class.”
Also, Mr. Magnus Adiele of Project Director, Centre for Microenterprise Development, shed light on the role of extensive market research and demand survey, importance of data in properly planning, particularly at the project design stage, and pricing developments within the affordability limits of the target market.
The Design Head of HubCT Technologies, Mr. James George, made a presentation on the role of cost-effective designs in reducing home prices.
Meanwhile, the Director Lagos Ministry of Housing, Mrs. Nike Animashaun, explained the Lagos state government policy of providing affordable homes for Lagosians across all income groups, low, middle and upper incomes alike.
She further explored the Lagos Housing Public Private Partnership framework, designed to produce significant private sector interest, particularly that of strong and well capacitated contractors and home developers.
Nike said that the framework would promote joint investments between government and private sector, where government provides land and counterpart funding where necessary and private sector provides capital, construction and project management competence.
At the conference, which was sponsored by GEMS2, the need to have a change of mindset was address.
According to Ojo, it includes a change of mindset among Developers for a reduction in developers’ profit in order to achieve long term economic returns over a larger market share.
He also canvassed that developers and housing finance practitioners looked forward to pushing “rent-to-own” financing schemes and that home buyers be oriented towards owning flats/apartments over the traditional single family homes.
“It is expected that if the momentum on affordable housing is sustained, the programme may record a landmark achievement in bringing solutions to the housing needs of the Lagos populace,” he said.
GEMS2 is a DFID funded technical assistance programme that facilitates Growth and Employment in the Construction and Real Estate sector. It sponsored and anchored the Affordable Residential Estate Development Panel Session at the just concluded Real Estate Unite Conference.