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Lagos building collapse: Aisha Buhari visits victims in hospital

The wife of the President offered her condolences to the victims of the incident, which claimed the lives of no fewer than 20 people, including school children.

Mrs Buhari, who took time to visit women and children wards of the hospital, prayed to God to grant the families that lost loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.

One of the victims and teacher in the school located in the collapsed building, Miss Easter Samuel, expressed her shock over the incident.

The 19-year-old teacher, who was receiving treatment in the hospital, prayed to God not to experience such unfortunate incident again.

The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Gani Kale, said 10 children were admitted in the hospital after the incident.

According to him, three out of the patients have been discharged, having certified their medical fitness.

Kale said there was no case of referral to another hospital.

The wife of the President was accompanied to the hospital by a former military administrator of Lagos State, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen, among others.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Mother Who Lost Two Children In Lagos School Building Collapse Commits Suicide

A mother, who lost her two children in the recent Lagos school building collapse, has committed suicide after she receiving news of the death of her children.

According to Newsmen, the traumatized woman who gave birth to the two children, who were between the ages of six and four, through Caesarean Section (CS), is said to have bought a bottle of insecticide called ‘Sniper’ and drank all of it.

“Nobody knew what she wanted to do with the Sniper. But a few minutes later we saw the bottle beside her where she was sleeping. By the time people got there she was already dead,” a neighbor, who craved anonymity, said.

Woman caught burying half-sister in shallow grave after beating her to…Sympathizers thronged their house to condole with the husband and family members.

Meanwhile, a mother, Yetunde, whose son was injured, has been too traumatized by the sight of the boy lying critically on the hospital bed, that she has not sat down for over nine hours.

She was seen moving from one corner of the Lagos Island General Hospital to the other in search of the prescribed drugs and other things demanded by the doctors.

The boy survived the injuries and his two legs are in Plaster of Paris (POP).

Source: WithinNigeria

Rent controls won’t solve London’s shortage of affordable housing stock

The topic of introducing rent controls in London crops up time and time again in our industry. But it’s been hitting the headlines again lately, as Sadiq Khan has pledged to cap rent in the capital as part of his 2020 re-election campaign.

The Mayor hasn’t explained precisely what he means by rent control yet. There are two main forms he could opt for: introduce rent stabilization to prevent sudden rent increases, or impose a blanket rent cap that limits how much a landlord can charge overall.

Various forms of rent controls already exist in many cities around the world. Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf have all banned rent increases in property potshots, while roughly one million homes in New York have their rent stabilized to prevent sudden spikes. Oregon is also poised to be the first state in the USA to impose statewide rent controls.

In fact, if Khan is successful in his bid it wouldn’t be the first time that rent controls have been imposed in the United Kingdom.

A shortage of housing during WWI saw the introduction of rent controls in the UK and subsequent legislation retained rent controls in some form or the other until deregulation under Thatcher.

More recently, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been using their devolved powers to introduce rent caps in some areas and types of tenancies.

Making life more affordable for Generation Rent

London’s private rented sector has been growing rapidly in recent years and now accounts for 30% of all London households. Some predict that by 2030 that number will climb to 40%.

But rent prices have also risen far quicker than wages and for the typical Londoner the majority of their income goes on rent.

In the areas of East London we work in, we’ve seen the average 2-bed skyrocket to over £1700 a month in rent. To buy a 2-bed will also easily set you back around £500,000 – with the deposit amounting to the cost of a whole property elsewhere in the UK.

The likelihood is that many Londoners – especially the young and lower income earners – will rent for way into their 40s and beyond. This is a totally new phenomenon, so it makes sense to adapt and to take steps to protect tenants’ rights.

Ideally, some form of rent control would make London more affordable for those who live and work in the city and give tenants greater security.

But will it actually work in practice?

The cultural component of housing in the UK and London

If rent controls already work in other cities and countries they could work in London too, right?

Unfortunately, it’s more nuanced than that. Drawing simple parallels between countries ignores the fundamental and historical differences between national property markets.

Take Berlin, for example. Arguably, rent control works quite well in Berlin. However, that’s largely down to one key cultural difference: Germans don’t rent in order to buy down the line, they choose to rent as a way of life. As a result, Germany’s home ownership rates are among the lowest in the developed world.

This in turn means that the property market is far more stable than in the UK, where home-ownership is considered a long-term goal for many.

It also means that tenants make up a large proportion of the electorate and so there’s a greater level of pressure on the government to impose strong tenancy protection laws throughout the whole housing system. For instance, it’s common to find fixed tenancies for five or 10 years in Germany.

So applying rent caps in London won’t be enough to solve the city’s housing issues. If the Mayor wants the Berlin-model, rent controls would need to be rolled out alongside improved tenant rights across the board.

Existing and would-be landlords will be put off the sector

The National Landlord Association has been understandably critical of the Mayor’s proposals. It points out that capping how much landlords are able to let their properties for will reduce rental yields and potentially drive many ‘good’ landlords out of the sector.

We’ve seen this play out for our landlords over the last two decades. In the early to mid-2000s, a third of our sales in East London were for buy-to-let properties; now that number sits closer to 10%. Back then, landlords could expect a rental yield of 10%, whereas now they can expect 3-4% on average.

The impact of rent control is basic supply-and-demand economics.

As investing in buy-to-let becomes less lucrative, more and more landlords will leave the private rented sector and move their money into other income-generating projects, like stocks and shares. With fewer landlords in the sector, the supply of rented properties will dwindle.

Middle income earners who are currently renting may well be able to leave the private rented sector too, since more rental properties flood the housing market and drive prices down. But even so, the demand for private rental properties will still outstrip supply.

What’s more, with social housing in short supply, the risk of homelessness among low income earners may rise. This means that the very government intervention intended to give greater housing security might have the exact opposite effect.

Lack of affordable housing stock

The crux of the housing issue in London is not that there’s a lack of stock – there are a million properties being advertised on Right move right now. The issue is that there is a shortage of affordable housing stock.

Artificially suppressing rents in the private rented sector won’t fix the root of the problem – it may even exacerbate it.

London needs more investment in affordable social housing, alongside stronger protection for tenants in the private rented sector and incentives to keep ‘good’ landlords in business.

Regardless of any individual’s political leanings, as an industry we’d love to see a housing policy work in the long term for the many, not the few.

The Mayor of London’s well-intended proposals, however, may have far-reaching and unintended consequences.

Demolition o f Dilapidated Structures Begins in Lagos

The Lagos state government has started pulling down buildings marked for demolition in Lagos Island.

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) are currently demolishing some houses at Freeman street in Ita Faji.

The development comes two days after a three-storey building on Massey street in the same area, caved in.

Twelve people, including nine children, were killed in the incident while 50 were rescued.

When he visited the area after the collapse, Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor, said some landlords had been resisting the demolition of defective buildings.

He said this time around, the government was prepared to pull down such structures.

“We have been carrying out a lot of integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we bring the structures down,” he said.

Source: CityPeopleNg

HDAN Condemns Lagos Building Collapse, Blames authority for negligence

The president, Housing Development Advocacy Network, Barr Festus Adebayo, has  condemned the building collapse tragedy of a primary school located on the second floor of a three-storey building in the Itafaji area of Lagos Island.

As at the time of filing this report, at least 100 young children were trapped when the building collapsed in the densely-populated area and rescuers were trying to reach them through the damaged roof.

The children were attending a nursery and primary school on the top floor of the residential building when the structure collapsed. Police said they believed scores of people were trapped under the rubble.

Adebayo, who is also the owner of Housing Television, in an interview with housing news, said those in authority should be blamed for the incident which occurred as a result of negligence.

According to him, there was no verifiable upgrade of the collapsed building which is over 30 years old, adding that the Lagos State government failed in its statutory and primary duty of care to the children as its coordinating body  ought to have been providing oversight functions on all school facilities to ensure standards, safety, and security of the pupils and students.

He therefore called on professional bodies, heads of regulatory bodies in the construction industry, , development control departments, architects, Engineers, Builders, Surveyors, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN),  and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to unite against building collapse by working the talk and not just criticize the incident.

Adebayo further said it was worrisome that despite the high rate of building collapse in the country, the perpetrators had never being brought to book or sanctioned.

“What exactly are our law enforcement agency in the development control doing, when is the government of this country going to have political will to punish people that are found wanting in matters like this, from the case of Akwa Ibom Redeem Church, to the case of Synagogue Church and many others, Tell me who amongst the owners of these properties has been sent to jail, Adebayo asked.

Let the government tell us how many are in prison over building collapse, Let professional bodies tell us how many of their members have been sanctioned over incidents like this, we should stop creating problem for the next generation.

“How can a school be situated on  the third floor of a building in a residential area, who approved it? , Is government aware of this or are they  hearing of  this for the first time?  Was there any political influence on the regulatory body? how many dilapidated structures like these are still standing in Lagos? We must all unite against building collapse either you are a professional in the Construction Industry or not.

Asking to know who the developers, engineers in charge of the building is a waste of time, this is not a building that was constructed three or five years ago, am sure the person who handled the bill of quantity or supervised the building may not even remember he built the building,” he said.

Source: Priscilla Anaemena

Making Housing More Affordable for Middle-Class Families in Toronto

Hard working middle-class families in Toronto deserve a safe and affordable place to call home where they can thrive and spend more time with their children.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), today, announced the construction and funding of 259 new rental housing units in Toronto so that more middle-class families have an affordable place to live.

Through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), the federal government is investing $89 million for the construction of Terraces of Princess Gardens, a 16-storey building that will provide safe and affordable homes to 259 families.

The majority of the units will have rents at or below 30% of median household income in the area and at least 10% of the units will be accessible.

Located in the west end of the city of Toronto, this project will provide affordable housing options close to public transit, schools and services for middle-income families.

As a result, they can enjoy better social outcomes and contribute to vibrant and socially inclusive neighbourhoods.

Quotes:

“Through the National Housing Strategy, more middle-class Canadians — and those working hard to join it — will find safe, accessible and affordable homes in communities where their families can thrive, children learn and grow, and have the stability and opportunities they need to succeed.
Our Government is committed to increasing the supply of rental units for Canadians through projects like the one we are announcing today.”

— The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Children, Families and Social Development and the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
“This is a major win for affordable housing in Etobicoke. This $89 million federal government commitment to our community will make a significant difference in providing a home and hearth for those worried that they can’t afford a roof over their heads.
I want to thank Minister Duclos for coming to Etobicoke with the great news of this incredible investment in our community. By increasing access to affordable housing, we are building stronger and healthier communities in a difficult Toronto housing market.
This investment provides more affordable housing options for middle-class families right here in Etobicoke Centre, close to public transit and our great local schools.”

— Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre
“Princess Management is happy to be able to participate with CMHC in this initiative to bring 259 superior housing units to this neighbourhood, in addition to the 467 units the company manages on this site. Princess Management looks forward to future opportunities within this initiative.”
— Evan Miller, Representative for Princess Management
Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Untold Story of How Lagos Building, Housing Children Collapsed

Tragedy struck in Lagos on Wednesday when a three-storey building housing a children’s school collapsed at Massey Street, Lagos Island.

In addition to the pupils of Ohen Nursery and Primary School, the building also accommodated tenants before it caved in at about 10 a.m., witnesses said.

At least 40 pupils, including 10 dead bodies, had been pulled out of the rubble as at Wednesday afternoon, according to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).

“We were in the market, when we heard ‘gboom,'” said Yemisi Bankole, the deputy head of Itafaaji market.

Ohen Nursery and Primary School occupied the first and second floors of the collapsed building while residents live on the ground floor.

Upon the collapse of the building, many men in the neighborhood rushed to the scene and were able rescue few pupils before the arrival of LASEMA officials and other rescue teams.

Many pupils and teachers, however, are still trapped in the rubble as at Wednesday afternoon.

Casualties and corpses have been taken to nearby private and government hospitals, witnesses said.

As 2.19 p.m. when a PREMIUM TIMES reporter was at the scene, three children were rescued, one them unscathed. The second child was lifeless while the third one was struggling to remain conscious.

Akinwumi Ambode, the governor of Lagos state who visited the scene some minutes past 3 p.m. said it was unfortunate thing that such a school existed in the building.

He said the government would provide maximum support to the victims which includes paying the hospital bills.

“It is evident that Lagos state is not aware of such school, it is illegal and the culprits will face the law,” Mr Ambode said.

Adesina Tiamiyu, the general manager of LASEMA who was present at the scene told journalists that people living in the area had been very helpful as they had begun rescue operations before his team’s arrival.

He said they are still working to ensure that those that are still trapped get rescued.

“Parents will be allowed to identify their children, we’ll not stop until we are sure that there is no one left in the building.”

He further said once the rescue mission has ended, the actual figure will be revealed.

Many parents were seen crying in front of Massey Children Hospital situated on the same street.

A resident who identified herself simply as Shekinah, said she never knew there was a school in the collapsed building because the government had marked the building more than three times.

“Government has marked it several times but they’ll only patch it and put tiles after bribing the officials,” another woman who declined to say her name added.

Ayinke Busari, a friend to a parent at the school, said that she is there in place of her friend, Taiwo, who had been taken home to take care of her baby.

“She has seven children in the school, two have been found but they are yet to locate the remaining ones. We’ve sent her home because she has a baby,” Mrs Busari said.

‘Quite unfortunate’

While commiserating with families of those who had lost their loved ones, Mr Ambode described the incident as quite unfortunate.

He said there are “two floors sunked into the ground.”

“The first observation is that the foundation of this building is an old one. Like what you have seen , two floors have gone under the ground. It is only the pent house and the other floor that children have been rescued,” the governor said.

“So far what we have been briefed is that they have rescued about 35 pupils, some already dead. But we were earlier informed it was a school.

“It is not technically a school but a residential building that is actually accommodating an illegal school so to speak.

“All we are trying to do is to continue this operation. Our response team are already here. We have gotten another crane to be able to go deeper down and rescue more children.”

Source: Ifeoluwa Adediran

Kenya Launches U.S. $70 Million Homes for Low Income Earners

The Nairobi County government has launched a Sh7 billion public residential apartments project in Ngara Estate.

The project, River Bank Apartments, will see 3,000 units comprising eight blocks with 34 storeys each put up for low and middle income earners in line with the government’s commitment to provide affordable shelter for Kenyans.

The venture, undertaken by Erdemann Property Limited, is set to be completed in less than one and half years.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said his government had approved construction of more than 200,000 houses for middle and low income earners and this was just the beginning.

“To ensure that we are going to speedily achieve this, we have waived building approval fees and also want to engage contractors who will use local building materials and employ youth,” Mr Sonko said during the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday.

GATED COMMUNITY

“We are going to construct a multi-billion-shilling gated community [and] an ultra-modern residential estate with a perimeter wall and street lighting.

“It will be easily accessible by both the public and private transport as the roads will be cabro-paved,” Mr Yang said.

The other features include fire assembly points, spacious car parking, lounges and open kitchen designs, inbuilt wardrobes, commercial units, sufficient water supply with underground reservoirs, back-up electric generators and internet fibre connection.

“These are going to be the first of the government’s pledged affordable houses for Kenyans. Nairobi is the first country to break the ground to start construction,” he said.

Mr Yang said that compensation of traders, who were occupying the more than 10 acres of land next to Nairobi River acquired for the houses, has been completed.

Actis, Shapoorji Pallonji Launch US$120m Real Estate Joint Venture In Africa

Actis, a leading growth markets investor and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate (SPRE), the real estate arm of one of India’s largest conglomerates, are set to launch a new real estate joint-venture platform to meet the demand for affordable and middle-income housing in the sub-Saharan African region, starting with Kenya.

The residential development platform has been established to capitalize on the demand for quality homes at affordable and competitive price points.

Actis manages the largest real estate private equity fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa.

David Morley, Global Head of Real Estate at Actis stated: “This joint venture builds on an ongoing and highly successful partnership between Actis and Shapoorji Pallonji in India where we have delivered thousands of high quality, aspirational homes at affordable prices.

We are confident that Actis’ investment experience in Africa coupled with Shapoorji Pallonji’s 153 years of experience in construction and real estate development will unlock the significant opportunity.”

Commenting on the launch of the new platform, Venkatesh Gopalkrishnan, CEO, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, said: “We are delighted to partner with Actis in the African residential market.

This venture marks the continuation of a journey for Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate in the sub-Saharan African Region. There is a huge demand for affordable and middle-income homes and the goal of the joint-venture platform will be to bridge the gap in this market and to exceed customers’ expectations.”

Koome Gikunda, Director at Actis said: “Residential remains the largest real estate asset class globally. In a number of African markets, however, delivery is highly fragmented.

There is a notable lack of institutional quality home builders with the expertise, capital and consumer trust to truly address the opportunity at scale. Actis’ joint venture with Shapoorji Pallonji seeks to remedy this in partnership with our local stakeholders.”

Source: Ghananewhomes

How a Cooperative Approach to Property Management can Build Collective Power

Nestled among single-family homes in a quiet Berkeley, California neighborhood sits a boarded-up apartment building whose owner hopes to use it to fight displacement, empower African-American community members, and upend traditional rental housing models.

McGee Avenue Baptist Church, which owns the property, joined with the Bay Area Community Land Trust to develop the apartments using an ownership structure built around the idea of keeping the property affordable for the long term and using a management model that puts tenants in charge.

The need for alternative approaches is dire. Soaring housing costs and intensifying gentrification have led to massive displacement of historic San Francisco Bay Area communities.

African Americans used to make up almost 20 percent of the Berkeley population, but their numbers have declined by 37% since 2000, a 2017 report from the Berkeley Mayor’s office found.

Three trends have contributed to the rapid increase in housing costs in the area: the Berkeley campus of the University of California steadily increasing its student body, the Silicon Valley economic boom, and the unprecedented amounts of speculative capital pouring into the San Francisco Bay Area from global real estate investment companies.

This has pushed housing prices and ownership opportunities farther and farther out of reach for many of the area’s African American families, even those that have been native to the area for decades.

To help address this crisis, the Bay Area Community Land Trust partnered with the 100-year-old McGee Street church, which runs one of the most robust local food programs for the homeless, on a program they called “Empowerment through Cooperative Management.”

The program goes beyond housing to generating leadership, sustainable self-management, and resilience in the face of limited resources, thanks to the cooperative approach.

The program’s first project is to rehabilitate the apartment building next door to the church and convert it into housing for undeserved and historic Bay Area communities of low and moderate income with three aims:

  1. to provide cooperative housing opportunities to communities under threat of displacement
  2. to empower African-American communities through a cooperative management model
  3. to create permanently affordable housing in perpetuity by using the community land trust model to remove land from the speculative market.

Understanding alternative ownership and management models

The Community Land Trust (CLT) is an established and successful model for the creation of democratically governed permanently affordable housing, and most urgently in the face of the crisis, a tool to prevent the displacement of historic communities.

The Bay Area trust, like many of the more than 250 such trusts across the United States, uses cooperative ownership and management in conjunction with the CLT model.

In this approach, the trust owns the land and the co-op collectively owns the buildings, with individuals owning shares, as in a Limited Equity Housing Cooperative. Ownership of a share offers greater security than being a renter:

It gives the resident the right to enjoy the use of the property and, most importantly, not be displaced by a landlord taking advantage of rapidly rising rents.

In exchange for this security, the resident cannot transfer the unit at market rate, and without the permission of the cooperative (usually approval of its board).

The Bay Area trust and McGee church are using community land trusts and co-ops as an anti-displacement tool (similar to San Francisco’s Small Sites program that helps preserve buildings with fewer than 25 units, and laws like the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act that offer residents the first chance to buy their buildings before they’re put on the market).

This approach focuses on making housing affordable not only for initial residents, but also for future ones by decommodifying housing and taking it off of the speculative market so that it can be permanently affordable.

Historically, affordable housing has had a stigma as “welfare,” which often disempowers its recipients. The Bay Area trust’s program is aimed at removing this stigma and creating a greater sense of dignity and empowerment through self-organization and the security offered by ownership

. Just like the first CLT, New Communities Inc(1969), which made land permanently affordable for African-American farmers and their families, land trusts can serve once again to put collective power back in the hands of African-American communities.

Source: Resilience.org

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