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Affordable Housing

Family Homes Funds Making Affordable Housing a Reality for Nigerians

Following a successful partnership between Family Homes Funds and Delta state, Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo will in few days be commissioning 650 units affordable housing estate in Asaba, Delta state for low income earners. This and many more projects are ongoing efforts by Family Homes Funds to make affordable housing a reality for Nigerians.

Family Homes Funds is a pivotal force in driving affordable housing objectives in Nigeria since its establishment. The Federal Government housing initiative intended to support the development of up to 500,000 Homes targeted at people on low income over the next 5 years has designed innovative schemes that is helping to deliver affordable housing in Nigerian and increase the housing options in the market.

With its many social housing rental funds like Help To Own, Rent To Own among others, the impact of Family Homes Funds is already being felt by Nigerians after a take-off that hasn’t been more than 12 months.

According to the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds (FHF), Mr Femi Adewole, the most transformative thing they can do is to introduce a formal rental system into the market.

The Fund has launched a social housing rental housing fund to provide affordable housing opportunities for Nigerians on very low and medium income. The cost of monthly rentals doesn’t exceed 40% of household income and beneficiaries will have an option to buy at any time they are able to do so.

Many Nigerians on low income are unable to buy a home either because they do not have sufficient savings for a deposit or are currently unable to meet requirements for a mortgage. The Family Homes Funds’ Rental Housing Fund gives Nigerians on low income a first step on the housing ladder. Eligible beneficiaries are able to lease a decent home for a monthly cost not exceeding 40% of their household income and an option to buy the home anytime.

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The Fund complements existing mortgage financing facilities by providing targeted assistance to people on low income through a Home Loans Assistance Fund – Help to Buy as part of the Governments’ Social Intervention Programme. The assistance is in form of a deferred loan for up to 40% of the cost of their home with no payments for the first 5 years.

Due to cost and low income, most Nigerians cannot own a home and are most times forced to live in slums with poor housing conditions and poor security.

This assistance from Family Homes Funds is unique because no payments will be made until the 6th year, where monthly payments will start repaying both interest and capital. To assist the purchaser, the amount paid starts low and increases each year in gradual steps (average 6.5% per annum) in order for the HTB loan to be fully repaid by year 20, the same year as the mortgage is expected to be fully repaid.

To qualify, households should have earnings between N600k to N1.2m per annum and the new home costs less than N7.5m. An exception is made in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano where the cost of a new home can be as high as N9m. Households benefiting from Loan Assistance must not already own a suitable home and need to include one income earner who is under 35 years of age and does not have to be one of the people applying for the scheme or the loan but must available to help with repayments.

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In addition, this July, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo will commission an estate in Asaba financed by Family Homes Funds in partnership with Delta state government. The affordable estate is made up of 650 housing units for low income earners.

The affordable housing project consists of one, two and three bedroom bungalows with all necessary facilities for home functionality. The estate has adequate access to water supply, power, security and good road network.

Built with high quality and sustainable materials, the houses are structured in ways that give each owner and his or her family a decent living space and some sense of privacy.

According to the MD, Femi Adewole, the estate is built in a fast developing and serene area with a lot of greenery. It represents the Funds’ vision to not only build houses, but to build ones that are healthy to live in and affordable for the owners.

More initiatives are also ongoing in the six geopolitical zones of the country with some either completed or at near completion stages. In Borno for example, the Fund is developing 4,700 housing project for civil servants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

According to Femi Adewole, 1700 of the 4700 homes are targeted at civil servants, mostly middle and low income civil servants, while 3000 is being built for IDPs whom have been displaced by Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

‘’They are small houses built in the outline areas, not necessarily in Maiduguri, but those villages that had been ravaged by the insurgents. The state has already produced quite a number but what most people are not aware of is the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who have been displaced by Boko Haram who are still living in temporary refugee camps for 3 to 5 years. So the government has a programme of returning them back to their villages which have been liberated. The idea is that we will be joining the government efforts to finance those homes,’’ he said.

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Several Family Homes projects are currently going on in states like Kaduna, Nasarawa, Delta, Ogun, Kano etc. The major excitement for most Nigerians is the affordability of these projects which had previously been difficult for low income earners. This has definitely been a new dawn and efforts should be sustained in order to reduce Nigeria’s burdensome housing deficit.

By Ojonugbwa Felix Ugboja

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