‘Land of Honey’ city development broaches new housing deal
A comprehensive new plan unveiled last week to reverse the growing decline in the nation’s housing stock in the Federal Capital Territory, is promising an ambitious new deal for a fresh town project within the Gude district of Abuja.
The scope of the scheme is massive and has the capacity to deliver between 15,000 and 20,000 housing units in different phases over a five-year period.
Christened Land of Honey City Development (LoH), the promoters and developers, Kohath Housing Corporation (Kohath), has proposed the new town as an innovative and sustainable city solution focused on the live, work and play concept. Kohath is one of the leading players in the municipality development space in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The LoH design is incorporated around a proposed district light rail that required the LoH design to take into consideration the significance of access to requisite services and public transportation in building new communities.
The design provides access to an array of retail outlets, schools, and other services within walking distance, as research shows that living in well-designed, walkable, transit-oriented communities near public transportation can result in a range of significant commercial and health benefits.
The LoH development currently has an asset portfolio of over 900 hectares covered by a bankable certificate of occupancy that is conservatively valued at $180 million, making Kohath one of Nigeria’s largest developers of quality affordable housing.
Kohath’s development strategy will in the long run involve the deployment of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s sponsored Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies Certification process in building innovative, sustainable, “green” communities as part of Kohath’s Green Development Strategy for improved health, long-term economic and environmental benefits for residents.
Kohath’s transaction structure also includes offtake arrangements for up to 10,000 affordable housing units with the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Scheme (FISH) through the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board.
As a means of driving and sustaining the scheme, the company has entered into a collaboration agreement with the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc (NMRC), Nigeria’s leading mortgage underwriter.
The partnership agreement will see NMRC and Kohath collaborate towards the provision of project structuring and mortgage advisory for the delivery of a first of its kind city development (located in the Gude district of Abuja).
NMRC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, said that the collaboration presents a huge opportunity to make a difference in home ownership in the Nation’s capital due to challenges that the LoH development will help to resolve.
These challenges include but are not limited to proliferation of dead assets due to titling constraints, access to mortgage loans and the delivery of sustainable, planned, qualitative and affordable housing.
Mr. Ogundimu further noted that the partnership with Kohath presents a huge opportunity for NMRC to support the Federal Government’s housing programmes in providing affordable housing backed by affordable mortgages.
This he said is in consideration of the fact that, of all the challenges currently facing our nation today, very few are more urgent than the deficit of decent housing.
The Executive Chairman Kohath Housing Corporation, Mr. Teni Eleoramo on his part noted that the LoH development and Kohath’s partnership with NMRC could best be described as a value innovation that has been in incubation since 2011.
Eleoramo in his statement noted that the project had successfully weathered the storm of title and legal challenges, survived the arduous business environment of Nigeria and is now ready to deliver its mandate of providing qualitative and affordable housing to Nigerians.
He further stated that While LoH’s building types include a handful of single-family homes, and a large majority of affordable housing development portfolios, LoH also features multifamily apartment homes for mid-income families with supportive services that caters to lifestyle, transform lives and strengthen communities.
The acting CEO of NMRC, Mr Kehinde Ogundimu in his closing statement noted that the Federal Capital Territory Abuja is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. He further noted that according to available statistics, the minimum annual salary required to purchase a median priced home is more than $30,000 and this price range excludes many hard-working people – from Doctors, Teachers and Public servants – from being able to rent or even own a two-bedroom apartment for their families.
Housing and economic analyst have all noted that without a stable and affordable home, low-income families in Nigeria have little hope of a better livelihood as the availability of housing plays a key role in determining whether they can find well-paying jobs, send their children to school, get quality health services, and access to reliable utilities.
NMRC is a is a CBN-licensed mortgage liquidity facility with the core mandate of developing the primary and secondary mortgage markets. NMRC raises long-term funds from the capital market for mortgage refinancing and by extension promotes affordable housing development and home ownership in Nigeria.
NMRC was incorporated on June 24, 2013 and obtained its final license to operate as a non-deposit taking financial institution from the CBN on February 18, 2015.
Kohath is a wholly owned Nigerian company with business activities in real estate development, mining, agriculture, energy and trading. KIG’s strategic focus includes their aim to positively contribute to the gross domestic product of the countries where they carry out our business operation and derive maximum value for stakeholders.