Fashola Roles out Plan to Construct Affordable Housing Estates in 2017

Fashola Roles out Plan to Construct Affordable Housing Estates in 2017

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Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has disclosed that the federal government intends to solve Nigeria’s 17 million housing deficits through the construction of many affordable housing units in 2017 which would have the multiplier effects of creating more jobs and improving the economy.
The Minister made this intimation recently during a press conference as part of activities to mark his one year in office. He noted that that the government would carry out detailed assessment of the affordability and the acceptability of the designs of the proposed housing units.
The Minister also used the platform to give a feedback on what the ministry has achieved in the last one year under his watch. He further gave the assurance that they would then increase supply using private sector as developers while government would concentrate on strengthening institutions like the Federal Mortgage Bank to deliver on its core mandate of providing mortgages to workers to own their homes.
The minister who sounded very confident and upbeat assured that they would no longer be intimidated by the magnitude of the current housing deficits.
“It is my belief that if we can achieve this, the size of our housing deficit will not appear that daunting again, because it will be a system that can respond every year, instead of once in a while, to repeat housing construction, delivery and acquisition.
“How much we can then deliver will be defined by the size of our resources and our ambition, and not by the absence of a workable plan. We have identified inputs like doors, windows, tiles, paint, roofing materials that can be made locally and we have resolved to use only made in Nigeria inputs unless there is no local production capacity.”
He revealed that all the necessary framework and research that would make the housing plan a successful one have been put in place, stating that it would boost the productivity of factories and get many of them back to work:
“We have done some inventory of quantities of materials needed in order to provide investment information for local manufacturers to position to respond and supply in order to create employment and get factories back to work. While our planning and research continues, the above is at least indicative of the kind of attention and dedication we are demanding of our staff and the response we are getting,” he said.
The Minister had earlier pointed out that thorough restructuring would be made in the area of budget and the way they plan policies relating to housing in this administration so that the campaign promise they made on the sector would not be a jam tomorrow promise, adding that the housing sector serve as a great catalyst to drive the economy’s growth and inclusion.
In his words: “There have been a couple of National Housing policies and we intend to appraise the most current one to make changes only if necessary. Government will lead the aggressive intervention to increase supply, by undertaking construction of public housing and formulate policies that will invariably lead to private sector participation and ownership to reduce our housing deficit.”
He also stated that the Federal Government would take time to study the Jakande and Shagari’s housing estates plans with a view to developing affordable housing units in conjunction with the state governors.
”If we achieve this, we will move from where we are now, start construction in all 36 States and the FCT and sustain this as we go along. In the housing sector, if we complete our on-going projects, and we get land from the governors in all states and the FCT to start what we know, using the Lagos Home model, we should start 40 blocks of housing in each state and FCT.
“We expect State Governors to play a critical role here, by providing land of between 5-10 hectares for a start, with title documents, and access roads or in lieu of access roads, a commitment that they will build the access roads by the time the houses are completed.”
“We have not yet started constructing houses. But tenders have been considered and over 500 contracts are now ready to be issued for work to start in earnest. However, we have received land from 27 states as at 24th October and more are still responding,” the minister stated.
He added that they have come up with simple designs of different types of bungalows that would be in tandem with varied cultures, climatic factors and land use systems. “We have completed simple designs of one, two and three-bedroom bungalows for the northern states to respond to the cultural, climatic and land use peculiarities. We have also completed simple designs of one, two and three bedroom blocks of Flats for Southern states also in response to similar peculiarities”, Fashola revealed.

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