Expert highlights stakeholders’ roles in affordable housing

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

The Chief Executive Officer, Northcourt, a real estate investment and research firm, Mr. Tayo Odunsi, has said that for the concept of affordable housing to be effective in the country, all stakeholders must be involved and be genuinely interested in the process.

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According to Odunsi, the stakeholders are the government, the private sector, professionals, the community and individuals.

Speaking ahead of the launch of his book on affordable housing, he said a lot of the properties people call affordable were merely those priced lower than the market value but were not necessarily affordable.

He explained, “Affordable housing has long been considered as the solution to meeting the housing demand in the developing world and indeed Nigeria. A lot of people look up to the government and developers for affordable housing and this makes many developers to engage in unwholesome practices.

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“Every stakeholder has a role to play to make affordable housing a reality. The government has a strong role to play as the holder of land; the private sector must also change the mind-set of profit to a social mind-set; while the professionals have a role to play in enlightening their clients and promoting housing career.

“The community, on the other hand, has a part to play by ensuring that houses within the domain remain affordable; while the individual is actually the most important stakeholder because he determines what is affordable to him.”

Odunsi said the book, ‘Affordable: Thinking critically and differently about affordable housing’, which will be launched on May 1, would change people’s perception about housing.

According to him, the book has 41 ideas on affordability and the roles of each stakeholder.

“I believe that this book will serve as a potent tool in the hands of the government, the private sector, professionals, communities and individuals. When everyone aims for homeownership, there will be a problem, but when we have sustainable demand/supply, the prices of houses will crash. These are some of the things the book talks about,” he stated.

Odunsi said the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, delegates from Ogun State and officials of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, among others would attend the book launch.

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