Mr Omotayo Awomosu, the Chairman, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Lagos Chapter, has urged developers to build more houses to crash the cost of rent in the country. Awomosu told Housing News in Lagos on Wednesday that the incessant rise in cost of rent was as a result of inadequate residential buildings. He said that the cost of rent would come down if developers could engage in mass construction of houses. Awomosu, therefore, encouraged developers to start mass erection of residential buildings to make them affordable.
“The simple truth is that scarcity increases price while abundance decreases price. This implies that the solution to continuous increment in cost of rent is ‘mass production,” he said. Awomosu, who called for Federal Government’s intervention through provision of enabling environment for the developers to operate, said that the developers’ lacked the financial capability to engage in the mass housing scheme. According to him, the government cannot provide everything; but the creation of credit facilities, access to long-term loans and grants, effective mortgage system, access to land, among others, are areas in which the government can assist. “It is not financially rewarding for developers and landlords. Most of them are just embarking on housing development for the sake of owning house or property,’’ he said. Awomosu noted that until the government and developers desist from construction of piecemeal houses and embark on mass house production, the problem of housing deficit may continue to stay with us. “Today, the cheapest completed house one can get is at the rate of N4 million and above.
“The truth remains that not many citizens can afford such amount. But when large number of houses are built, the prices will reduce,” he said. According to the official, mass housing would not only result in bulk purchase of materials at discounted rate, it would also create room for easy access to mortgage scheme. Awomosu said that the benefit of mass production was ‘low cost,’ which implies that developers would be able to recoup the money they invested within a short time. He noted that mass housing was more economical, saying it remains the only viable way to reduce the high rent in the country.