As part of efforts at bridging the staggering housing demand-supply gap estimated at 3 million units in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, the Family Home Fund (FHF) was in the sprawling city recently to explore potential partnership for a large-scale affordable housing scheme with a specific focus on low income Lagos residents.
FHF is a special purpose investment vehicle which has the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authorit (NSIA) and the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated as founding shareholders. It has an ambitious target of supporting the development of over 500,000 homes and creating 1.5m jobs for Nigerians on low income by 2023.
So far, the fund has completed the construction of 400 homes with an average cost of N3.5 million in Grand Luvu, Nasarawa State and this is part of over 4,000 homes under construction in five states of the federation namely Ogun, Nasarawa, Kano, Delta and Kaduna.
Femi Adewole, FHF’s managing director, disclosed in a brief interview in Lagos that the partnership which the fund was exploring would include a significant element of regeneration that would ensure that older parts of the city were brought back into use to provide much needed affordable homes.
With a large and growing population, estimated at 20 million, Lagos has a very challenging housing situation, especially at the low income level. It is estimated that 65 percent of its residents live in rented accommodation, spending over 50 percent of their income on house rents. This is as a result of lack of affordable homes in the city’s very expensive housing market.
The intervention by FHF is therefore considered critical and, according to Adewole, the proposals for the partnership involve a significant number of homes, assuring that there was space for participation by a number of developers who met theac criteria and demonstrated that they were committed to the delivery of homes that were affordable to Lagosians on very modest incomes since this was the area of interest for the Fund.
“We have a strong commitment. We have invested over N20 billion in housing projects to support Nigerians who are earning below N100, 000; we are also providing financing for developers who will build homes ranging from N2.5 million to N5 million. In addition, we are providing some assistance to the buyers of those houses and we are giving them a deferred loan for up to 40 percent cost of the houses’’, the managing director assured.
Besides providing quality homes, the fund will also be looking at creating jobs for Lagosians. Other aspects of the scheme include a commitment to the environment and climate change issues.
“This is important for future generations of Lagosians given that Lagos is a coastal city. We think about the future of Lagos being a coastal city. So far, discussions have been very fruitful and are now advanced. The partners are very committed. I’m hopeful that in the near-future, we will have a full announcement,” Adewole assured further.