Why affordable housing remains elusive, by Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) PHOTO: BUNMI AMOSU

The dreams of Nigerians to own affordable homes could be a mirage if poor planning, inadequate investments in the housing sector and bottlenecks are not addressed.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, gave this warning yesterday while delivering a speech to mark the 2017 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day.

Fashola spoke against the backdrop of the nation’s increasing housing deficit, currently estimated at about 17 million.

“Home ownership investment is a critical basic need of man, and the struggle to obtain decent, affordable housing has left many urban dwellers in inadequate housing or financially stretched by housing costs.

“Addressing the affordable housing gap will likely take on increasing urgency as the number of affected households grows and the negative spillover effects multiply,” he said.

The minister, whose address was read by Minister of State, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, stressed that solutions must be given to the multifarious factors militating against home ownership affordability in Nigeria such as high cost of lands, lack of housing finance, high interest rates, high cost of construction, high cost of building materials and delays in getting titles to land and building.

He observed that urbanisation was growing rapidly and had forced millions of Nigerians who could not afford decent homes to live in slums, squatter settlements and marginal lands at the suburbs of cities.

Earlier, the UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, said analysis in the past 20 years showed that today, 1.6 billion people lived in inadequate housing while 1 billion lived in slums and informal settlements.



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