Corporations, government agencies plan pilot housing schemes in eight states

Managing Director, Family Homes Fund, Femi Adewole

A triparite agreement has been reached between the housing corporations, apex mortgage bank and affordable homes focused fund to boost stocks for the low- income earners in the country.

The deal between Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Family Homes Fund (FHF), will see the jump-starting of the housing scheme in eight states.

The defunct three regional housing corporations and the Lagos Executive Development Board (LEDB), now Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) established the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) in 1964.

Today, membership of the association has swelled to 50 member organizations consisting of federal and state property agencies, housing research institutes, mortgage establishments and some private property developers.

The objective of the founders of the association was to solve the then growing housing problems especially in the urban centres by advising governments of the federation on their housing policies, projects and programmes.

AHCN claims that its activities over the decades gave birth to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), FMBN, the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), the 1990 National Housing Policy (NHP) and the National Housing Fund (NHF). These efforts were aimed at making decent accommodation accessible to Nigerians at affordable costs.

Currently, AHCN members have been facing problems ranging from lack of holistic approach to housing matter, lack of finance, high cost of building materials, high infrastructural development cost, appropriate implementation of policy direction and affordability challenge among others.

Recently, the association alleged usurpation of their statutory responsibilities in housing construction and development for the state by the states’ housing ministries, which have caused duplication of duty, distraction, needless rivalry, unfair competition and sheer wastages and repetition of efforts and resources.

Specifically, the pilot scheme will start in eight states, namely Lagos, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Niger, Kaduna, Imo and Yobe. The target buyers are mainly NHF subscribers as each of the housing units is expected to be between N5million and N10 million.

Under agreement, FHF is providing construction fund, FMBN will support subscribers, especially civil servants with NHF loan while association members will handle the development of the houses. The first phase will consist of 500 units.

Among the first set of developers are Niger State Housing Corporation, Ondo State Development and Property Corporation and Imo State Housing Corporation and Lagos State’s housing arm, LSDPC.

Sources disclosed that the pilot states have already made land available for the development. Locations for the project are mostly major cities, where there is acute housing shortage.

AHCN Executive Secretary, Mr. Toye Eniola confirmed the development to The Guardian. He disclosed that a committee has been set-up to ensure that allocations are for NHF contributors and low-income earners.

On the misuse of funds, he said, “there are some guiding rules that have been put in place by FHF to prevent diversion of funds or sabotage of the scheme.”

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