By Adedayo Akinwale
Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN) has said that federal government’s projected delivery of 300,000 housing units annually will remain a wishful thinking unless it resolves some existential problems at the core of the sector.
While lauding the federal government’s plan to deliver at least 300,000 homes every year, the group said due to many years of policy summersault, it is expedient to act fast and with palpable determination.
HDAN stressed that while it would take at least 700,000 housing units annually to significantly address the current housing deficit of at least 20 million, federal government must be committed to whatever number of houses it wants to deliver.
In a statement issued on Monday, its President, Mr. Festus Adebayo, added that current delivery rate was about or less than 100,000 housing units, saying that federal government needs to stop paying lip service to housing development.
He stressed that private sector and reliable investors would only participate in government projects when they can perceive real ambition and the political will to match action with words.
Adebayo noted that government had to speed up current interventions and also introduce more if the housing deficit must be reduced drastically.
He said: “There must be due consultation and every party must be clear about what their unique responsibilities are. They must also work on removing the bottlenecks in the transaction dynamics by getting the land administrators (36 States and FCT), to ensure Ease of Approvals, Title Registrations etc. Especially the adoption and domestication of the Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law in their Sates and FCT.
“There should be a recapitalisation of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to enable mortgages to be created, and in so doing refinance Family Homes Funds and other Developers including Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMW&H) whose funds are massively tied up in Estates across the Country.”
The group lamented that government’s inability to work with professionals, as against political contractors has been a real threat to housing development in Nigeria.
It noted that Family Homes Fund that has blazed a trail in affordable housing development should be empowered with additional funding and support.
Given the importance of its mandate to deliver over 500,000 homes on its own, and based on what it has achieved so far, the Family Homes Funds should be a face of the federal government’s intervention.