The Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Nigeria’s housing development agency, is targeting low income earners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja in its new housing project valued at N27 billion.
On completion, the scheme will deliver 1,650 housing units of different configurations. This means that the staggering housing deficit in the country will be reduced by that number while a corresponding number of low income earning households will be taken off the property market.
Nigeria has a heavy housing deficit burden which the World Bank in one of its reports estimated at 17 million units, a figure experts say has become not only trite, but also untenable, citing population growth, rising urbanization and increased number of school leavers that have attained home-owning age.
The FHA scheme comprises 550 homes located in Zuba, Kwali and Lugbe axis of the FCT. The buildings range from one-bedroom flats to five bedroom luxury apartments and it is expected that these projects would be delivered soon, though at different times.
“Zuba is almost completed while the one in Kwali is ongoing and Lugbe phase II has just started”, Mohammed Al-Amin, FHA managing director, disclosed, adding that there were also on-going projects in Apo, Guzape area of the FCT for the high-income earners which was 90 per cent completed.
In its determination to serve every strata of the society, the housing authority is also planning to begin another scheme in Maitama area of Abuja which will consist of villas, duplexes and luxury houses.
Mohammed explained that the housing initiative, which was aimed to make houses affordable to the low-income earners was under the social housing scheme, adding that locating houses far away from the main city does not go well with the government, hence the initiative of building houses in the fringes of the city.
“The demand for the houses is high. None will be above five million and there are one to five bedroom houses. The good thing is, if you are going through the government mortgage system, you don’t have to pay what is called equity. You don’t have to pay 30per cent of the money before a house is given to you,” he assured low income earners who are scared of affordability.
The FHA boss advised buyers not to negotiate with anyone who is not a staff of the FHA. He assured that the digitization initiative engaged by FHA would eliminate double allocations, forgery of documents and ensure quick services.
“There exist cartels who lie to potential buyers that they have land to give them. We keep telling Nigerians not to negotiate with anyone who is not an FHA staff. Even if the person is from FHA, you should ask him if he is from estate department. Only people in estate department and, to some extent marketing department, are allowed to interact with the public”, he warned.