Abeokuta – As Nigeria celebrates World Architecture Day, 2019, the body of Architects, The Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects has identified key factors militating against the delivery of affordable housing schemes in the country.
The Association, in a press statement jointly signed by its President and National Secretary; Noyor Omatsone and Koye Jolaoso respectively, identifies low earnings or low savings or disposable income for housing; instability; high interest and inflation rates, short repayment/mortgage tenor, high cost of land registration and titling, as some of the challenges.
Other factors, according to the Association are the high cost of building materials, technology, and services; increase in construction cost, inadequate infrastructure, and access to finance and/or low-interest credit facilities; weak risk-sharing legislations and contract enforcement mechanism; unstable economic, political system and housing policies.
Nigeria has severally been reported to have an estimated housing deficit of about 17 million units, with an annual incremental estimate of about 900,000 units.
The Association has however maintained that the performance of the housing sector is important for stimulating economic growth as it remains yardstick by which the health of a nation is measured.
The statement read, “The performance of the housing sector is important for stimulating economic growth. It is the yardstick by which the health of a nation is measured. The occupation, quality and ownership of a house are the best indicators of a person’s standard of living and societal placement.
“Low earnings and/or low savings or disposable income for housing; instability; high interest and inflation rates, short repayment/mortgage tenor, high cost of land registration and titling; high cost of building materials, technology and services; increase in construction cost, inadequate infrastructure and access to finance and/or low interest credit facilities; weak risk-sharing legislations and contract enforcement mechanism; unstable economic, political system and housing policies, are the key factors affecting the delivery of affordable housing in Nigeria.
“Affordable housing has been variously defined. However, what can reasonably be deduced therefrom is that there is NO one-size –fit-it-all definition. It rather underscores it as the provision of living units that meet the users’ needs and acceptability in terms of space, health and usability at a cost the users can accommodate.
“It must be off-taker/up-taker driven in terms of adequacy-in quality, acceptability, geopolitical or cultural idiosyncrasies and socio-economic capabilities on an agreeable and reasonable periodic equity contribution or repayment regime that should NOT exceed the off-taker’s total disposable income for mortgage or rentals or rent-to-own or build of the housing unit.
“Undoubtedly, the delivery of adequate, accessible, affordable and acceptable housing is critical to Nigeria’s reform and development agenda. Towards this end, the Federal Government had issued executives orders in support of local content requirements and the provision of N500 billion for the resuscitation of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
“This is expected to enhance the cash-liquidity of mortgage institutions for the delivery of home-grown affordable housing to interested Nigerians.”
With this gesture, the Association said its theme for this year “Architecture—Housing For All” is not just a tagline, it is a duty, a demand and a commitment.
“It further underscores the need for dynamic and responsive policies, programmes and projects towards accelerating the provision of affordable housing supply especially for the urban poor using the most relevant development models like State Budgetary Finance Commitments (SBFC), Designated Consolidated Housing Fund (DCHF); Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN); Private Mortgage Institutions (PMI); group formations like crowd-funding, CDAs/Unions/Cooperative; REIT, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) financing etc.”
The Association said it was not unaware of the rural challenges which is predominantly a factor of quality rather than quantity, it, however, charged it’s members to work with the rural dwellers, rather than impose ideas, by showing them alternative approach (es) towards improving their living condition and attaining a decent, healthy and safe built environment.