Reporter

Student Challenge Winners Bring Innovative Ideas to Creating Affordable Rental Housing in Canada

 

With innovative and fresh approaches to create more affordable rental housing in the country, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, today announced the winners of the Innovation Fund Student Challenge.

Three teams have been selected as winners earning the full award of $10,000:

The Beaver – York University
Compact Homes: Innovative Solutions Solving the Affordability Challenge – Queen’s University
The Jetty: An Affordable Housing Cooperative – Dalhousie University

Three additional teams have been chosen to receive awards of merit of $2,000:

Affordable Housing Initiative for Single Mothers – Dalhousie University
Affordable Live-Work Rental Cooperative – McGill University
Canada Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trust – Université du Québec à Montréal

Launched in September 2017, the Innovation Fund Student Challenge for Affordable Rental Housing asked post-secondary students to submit a proposal for affordable rental housing solutions that are new to Canada, with innovative building techniques and business or financing models that lower the costs and risks associated with rental housing.

Quote:

“The Innovation Fund Student Challenge has inspired students to not only think of new ways to address affordable housing, but to perhaps consider a career in housing as well. The proposals we’ve received are creative and offer solutions ranging from innovative building techniques to new financing models. I would like to congratulate all the winners and everyone who participated in this challenge.” – The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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Quick Facts

Students were able to work individually or create a team, with the goal to rethink and revolutionize the affordable rental housing sector.
The deadline for submitting their project was April 30, 2018.
The National Housing Strategy (NHS), through the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, is providing $200 million over 5 years for projects that showcase new funding models and innovative building techniques, lowering the costs and risks of financing affordable housing projects and helping to make the affordable housing sector more attractive for private market developers and investors.
The NHS is an ambitious 10-year, $40-billion plan that will reduce or eliminate 530,000 families from housing need across Canada, create 100,000 new housing units, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.

Winning Submissions: The Beaver – York University

Michael Kenny, Bria Hamilton, Allison Evans, Helen Lam, Jane Bae

The Beaver Co-op is a proposed 12-story affordable rental apartment building that incorporates an innovative building technique and cost-saving measure through the use of mass timber construction in affordable housing, which is still relatively new to the sector. Passive design and green technology are incorporated to minimize waste and energy usage. The financial innovation stems from the multi-stakeholder community development approach that aims to generate financial support via community bonds, union pension funds, and credit unions.

Compact Homes: Innovative Solutions Solving the Affordability Challenge – Queen’s University

Lindsay Allman, Andrew Eberhard, Gabrielle Snow, Peter Huan

The Compact Homes project proposes an innovative Tiny Home Community that seeks to leverage existing programs and lands to produce single occupant, rent geared to income units, and can be constructed to meet stringent accessibility and environmental efficiency requirements.

The Jetty: An Affordable Housing Cooperative – Dalhousie University

Juniper Littlefield, Mitch Gold, Lina El-Setouhy, Chloe Espiard

The Jetty Affordable Housing project proposes a housing cooperative operated in partnership with local post-secondary institutions, targeting the student population with recycled shipping container apartments, as well as providing additional housing for seniors, singles and families.

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Awards of Merit

Affordable Housing Initiative for Single Mothers – Dalhousie University

Julianna Robertson, Jeff Meaney, Odeisa Stewart, Matt Cawood, Amirezza Shahisavandi

The Affordable Housing Initiative for Single Mothers aims to create ten multi-family housing complexes for low income single mothers in Halifax through the use of Social Impact Bonds to fund social housing initiatives. This financial model encourages private investment and operation of affordable housing, which has typically been a publicly-funded social service.

Affordable Live-Work Rental Cooperative – McGill University

Olivier Lalancette, George-Étienne Adam

The Affordable Live-Work Rental Cooperative project proposes a live-work rental cooperative apartment building that caters to today’s young professionals who are interested in self-employment, working from home, and who are in need of affordable housing. The project proposes a unique building design element with the goal of enhancing affordability and reducing initial costs through the use of an online customized unit selection process, along with moveable features and rental furniture, which gives residents flexibility to pay only for what they need and can afford, from the unit layout down to the furniture.

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Canada Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trust – Université du Québec à Montréal

Nicolas Langlois

Canada’s Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trust aims to create a responsible residential real estate investment fund. The Fund allows investors interested in responsible investments to enter the market and brings new sources of capital to the affordable housing market.

Press Release

FCTA’s timely response to recent disasters in Abuja

 

Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been hit of recent with disasters that claimed lives and property. Some of these include the three floor building collapse at Jabi District, which killed three persons and injured six others, the recent earth tremors that unsettled the nerves of residents in and around Mpape, Gwarimpa, Garki and Kubwa, as well as the flood disaster in Kobi and Kuruduma settlement that resulted in the death of three persons and swept away houses.

Much as these disasters have been worrisome and unsettling, the reactions and subsequent actions taken by the FCT Administration, headed by the Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, to calm the nerves and guard against future occurrence have been commendable to say the least. To begin with, the FCT Minister, in company of the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa proceeded straight to the Plot 711, Cadastral Zone B04, Jabi District, Abuja site of the collapsed building to do an on the spot assessment of the situation when he received news of the sad incident.

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Upon inspecting the scene of the carnage and with the understanding that human lives was of utmost priority, the minister directed the immediate and comprehensive mobilisation of men and machines to the site of the disaster by both federal and FCT emergency agencies to join in the rescue efforts. More than seven earth moving machines were engaged in the operations including support equipment from Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMCC) and the Federal Capital Development Authority also joined in the rescue efforts and worked overnight with floodlights and other equipments to excavate the rubbles and rescue some of the people that were trapped in the debris.

Officials remained on the site on the directive of the minister, much after the FEMA and other agencies had called off operations, to completely remove the debris. It was as a result of the prolonged operation that the body of one Sadiq Aliu was discovered, vindicating the minister’s directive.

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With rescue operations over and done with, the minister set up a panel of inquiry headed by Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute, Prof. Danladi S. Matawal to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the Jabi building collapse and make recommendations within three weeks. The panel was also mandated to assess the level of regulation at the site and recommend appropriate sanction against any person found wanting. This is in addition to the suspension of some officers directly in charge of monitoring the project site, pending completion of investigations.

The FCT minister also demonstrated competence in manner he handled the recent incident of earth tremor in parts of the FCT. The minister who had earlier visited the epicenter of the tremor in Mpape, wasted no time in taking precautionary steps by directing the immediate stoppage of such activities that are capable of setting off disturbances within thin the earth, pending the outcome of investigations. As result, quarrying, mining and borehole drilling activities in the affected areas of Mpape, Gwarimpa and Garki districts of Abuja, were suspended pending when investigations would be concluded. The FCTA and other agencies of government also moved fast to allay the fears of residents by getting experts to confirm that Abuja does not sit on any fault line that could trigger major seismic disasters. The very vital earthquake monitoring seismograms was also procured by government to monitor ground disturbances.

These in my mind, are the attributes of pragmatic leadership. Bello is really an action minister and things are made easier with him on the saddle. To him the Jabi building collapse is a slap on the face and he has vowed to work extra hard in synergy with the building regulation agencies to prevent a reoccurrence of the ugly incident. The minister is also not leaving anything to chance as far disturbances within the crust are concerned.Truly the FCT minister deserves commendation for his personal and official sacrifices to make sure that the agonies that arose from the unfortunate disasters are cushioned.

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Also deserving of commendation are the emergency response to the building collapse and earth tremor by officials from the AMCC, the FCDA, the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Road Traffic Service Department of FCTA, the Nigeria Police, the military, paramilitary and ambulance services unit of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat who were able to mobilise and carry out swift rescue operations which made possible for those who were injured in the case of the building collapse to be rushed to hospital, while the dead were moved to various hospital mortuaries.

At this point, it is imperative to call on all developers, construction companies and other individuals in the FCT indeed other parts of the country to always ensure that the best standard as provided by regulatory agencies are adhered to, to avoid such unfortunate incidents as witnessed in recent time.

Danladi Akilu

How Housing Can Determine Educational, Health, and Economic Outcomes

 

Many social issues stem from a history of unstable, unaffordable, and poor-quality housing. Research shows that housing is the first rung on the ladder to economic opportunity for individuals and that a person’s access to opportunity is intrinsically linked with that of the community at large. As the gap between rents and incomes widens, it is critical that professionals in fields outside housing—including health, education, and economic development, among others—understand its central importance.

The following research shows how housing can create better educational opportunities for children, contribute to healthier people and neighborhoods, and build stronger economic foundations for families and communities.

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How housing affects educational outcomes

Children who live in a crowded household at any time before age 19 are less likely to graduate from high school and tend to have lower educational attainment at age 25.
Living in poor-quality housing and disadvantaged neighborhoods is associated with lower kindergarten readiness scores.

Homeless students are less likely to demonstrate proficiency in academic subjects. Passing rates for English language arts, math, and science exams are lower among homeless students than among their housed counterparts.

For typical households in the Fremont Unified School District, the impact of school quality on housing prices is more than three times greater than the impact found in studies in other regions. This impact matches the cost of private education for a child, suggesting that home prices act as tuition for in-demand public schools.

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Near a high-scoring public school, housing costs 2.4 times as much, or roughly $11,000 more a year, as housing near a low-scoring public school.

In one study in New York City, improvements in a school’s test scores are associated with higher home values and increased spending on residential investments (whether by owners or developers). Improving a school’s scores by one standard deviation was correlated with a 1.8 percent increase in housing values. Housing and financial instability often lead to children moving to poorer schools.

How housing affects health outcomes

Compared with New York City residents who stay in gentrifying neighborhoods, displaced residents who move to nongentrifying, low-income neighborhoods have significantly higher rates of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and mental health–related visits for about five years after displacement.

Being behind on rent, moving multiple times, and experiencing homelessness are associated with adverse health outcomes for caregivers and children and with material hardship.
Households with poor housing quality had 50 percent higher odds of an asthma-related emergency department visit in the past year.

People with mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability are less likely to receive responses to inquiries about rental housing and less likely to be invited to inspect available units.

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Renter households with children are more likely to have asthma triggers in their homes than owners. They are also more likely to have at least one child with asthma.

In a study of single-parent families living in violent neighborhoods, parents met or exceeded the national average for self-reported physical health but fell below the mental health average. Forty percent reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression and reported higher levels of stress from worrying about financial instability and concern for their children’s well-being.
In one study, older homeless adults who obtained housing during the study reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who were still homeless at follow-up.

How housing affects economic outcomes

Black per capita income is lower in regions with higher levels of economic and black-white segregation.There is a positive relationship between high levels of automobile ownership and estimated rates of foreclosure and mortgage default, suggesting that transportation costs affect housing affordability.

In Detroit, strong efforts by residents, coupled with support from community development organizations and external assistance, led to increased neighborhood housing prices in middle- and working-class neighborhoods that lost value in the foreclosure crisis. Residents’ efforts were less effective in higher-poverty neighborhoods with lower rates of owner occupancy.

The need for access to good jobs in central locations that is driving the lack of affordable housing shows that access to housing and access to opportunity are inextricably linked, which affects future intergenerational mobility.

Places with higher job accessibility by public transit are more likely to attract low-income households that do not own cars but have at least one employed worker, demonstrating that job accessibility by transit affects housing location choice.

Economically healthy cities tend to have higher rankings on economic, racial, and overall inclusion than distressed cities.

Federal housing assistance—from housing vouchers, to welfare-to-work programs, to financial coaching and incentives, and more—improves lives. Housing policies can be a tool to fight poverty and create upward mobility, making assistance a worthwhile and imperative investment in America’s future.

Veronica Gaitán

Lagos Federal Secretariat Complex should be sold – NSE Lagos Branch

– The federal government has been advised on the sale of the 15-storey federal secretariat complex in Ikoyi area of Lagos
– The call was from the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers
– The federal government was urged to collaborate with the Lagos state government to sell the building

Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Lagos branch, has advised the federal government to collaborate with the Lagos state government to sell the 15-storey federal secretariat complex in Ikoyi to save the national monument from further deterioration. NAN reports that Johnson Akinwande, the branch chairman, said both governments should reach an agreement on the facility without further delay. It was gathered that Akinwande explained that earlier moves by the federal government to sell the asset to private individuals failed because the buyer wanted to use it for purposes that contravened the Lagos master plan for the area. He also called for integrity tests and proper environmental impact assessment of the facility.

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The complex, said to have been abandoned since 1991 following the relocation of the country’s capital from Lagos to Abuja, is now a shadow of its former self. Built in 1976, the facility which served as the engine room of the federal civil service, is virtually in a ruinous state, stripped of doors, windows and other fittings, a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) check has revealed.

A section of the building formerly occupied by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which was gutted by fire is yet to be renovated. Contacted for his comment, Dickson Onoja, the director of public buildings in the federal Ministry of Housing, Abuja, said the property was no longer under the control of the ministry.

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Onoja said the Presidential Implementation Committee on the sale of federal government landed property in Abuja was in a better position to speak on the status of the secretariat.

He said: “The federal secretariat buildings in Ikoyi are no longer ours and no longer under our control as it is one of the buildings sold off some years back. I am told issues came up in relation to development control, building plan approvals and permits which are under the jurisdiction of state government.”

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Meanwhile, it was previously reported that the Nigerian Senate blocked the proposed sales of national assets by the executive arm of government. Members of the Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber registered their displeasure at the Senate on Wednesday, December 20, over the government’s proposed plans to sell the national asset.

Agency Report

‘We are driven by our vision to build 1 million homes in the next 20 years’

 

Taf Nigeria Homes, a subsidiary of Taf Africa Homes, is a ‘foreign’ real estate firm making direct investment in the Nigerian economy. The company entered the Nigerian property market with a bang, developing over one thousand luxury but affordable homes at its RIVTAF Golf Estate in Port Harcourt. In this interview with CHUKA UROKO, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Mustapha Njie, speaks on the Nigerian economy, the recession, the real estate market, the potentials, opportunities and challenges in the market. Among other things, Njie also speaks on the company’s future plans in Nigeria. Excerpts:

Taf Nigeria Homes Limited is, for purposes of definition, a foreign real estate firm making direct investment in Nigerian economy. What was the attraction to Nigeria?

When we came into Nigeria in 2013, Nigeria had an estimated population of about 150 million, a dearth of housing, and an increasing annual population growth rate. These factors made the real estate sector very attractive and the potentials still remain untapped. Our experiences have not been too palatable particularly in view of the economic situation of the country in the last 3 years, but it’s been worth the while as we take pride in delivering a luxury estate with quality homes and seeing our client express satisfaction with our products and services. We are also particularly elated to acknowledge that our project positively impacted the lives of members of the community, individually and collectively.

You have been in the Nigerian real estate market for over five years now and still counting. What story can you tell of Nigeria, its property market and the economy in general?

Prior to being hit by the recession experienced in the country, the real estate sector made certain contribution to the real GDP of Nigeria. In 2015, the real estate sector was reported to have contributed 8.26 percent to the real GDP of Nigeria (National Bureau of Statistics: Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report, Q1 2015). Unfortunately, the contribution of the real estate sector to the real GDP has reduced over the past years due to the recession.

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The National Bureau of Statistics reported that in the third quarter of 2017, the real estate sector contributed 6.79 percent to real GDP, lower than the 7.18 percent reported in the third quarter of 2016 (National Bureau of Statistics: Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report, Q3 2017) and lower than 7.57 percent reported in the third quarter of 2015 (National Bureau of Statistics: Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report, Q3 2015). Although the country is said to have come out of recession, the real estate sector is yet to recover from the impact of the recession.

This is evident in the Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report, Q1 2018 of the NBS which puts the real GDP growth in the sector in Q1 2018 at -9.40 percent and a contribution of 5.63 percent to real GDP (National Bureau of Statistics: Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report, Q1 2018) which is lower than the 6.32 percent of Q1 2017 and the 6.48 percent of Q1 2016 (National Bureau of Statistics: Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report, Q1 2017).

Nigeria successfully exited a crippling 15-month recession. Our focus in this report is on those real estate firms, which you are one, that are still afloat despite the impact of the recession. Tell us your story in the circumstance.

Without a doubt, the real estate sector attracted investments from individuals, corporates, foreign investors in a large scale prior to the recession that hit the Nigerian economy. It cannot be overemphasised that, just like other forms of constructions, real estate development requires significant capital. Till date, the sector has witnessed limited equity financing, hostile debt financing (particularly in view of harsh lending rates which was reported to have hit 30 percent per annum) and weaker effective demand triggered by inadequate and unfriendly mortgage facilities.

We were not insulated from the situation of the sector as we are a key player in the sector. However, we were resolute to deliver on our promise of delivering affordable luxury estate to our target clientele without compromising the quality and standards which our brand is known for across the continent. To this end, we decided to take certain strategic steps which I hope to discuss in the course of this interview.

A major problem for developers like you during the recession was credit drought and hyperinflation that eroded people’s purchasing power. How did you source funding for your projects?

The poor state of the economy, worsened by the recession, posed significant barriers on the availability of finance for the real estate sector. This is because the few lending institutions that could ordinarily provide construction financing to real estate players or mortgages to encourage demand for real estate products could no longer provide such facilities. The cost of finance (especially debt finance) during the recession was alarming so we decided to deploy other innovative and creative means of generating funds outside debt finance.

For you to have sustained your business till now means you are a resilient company and indeed you must have brought innovation and creativity into your operations. How did you do it?

In a bid to navigate the storms in the sector and continue to provide quality products and services to our growing clientele while we remain profitable, we had to deploy creative strategies. These include introduction of certain value added services to our existing superb customer service experience; redesigning our products to smaller units in order to make them more affordable; introducing new products like serviced plots; evaluating ongoing construction works on defaulting clients’ property and renegotiating sales agreement with a view to handing over such properties “as is”; strategic engagements of marketing agents especially by providing incentives to existing clients who make referrals to us; and ultimately introducing a contractor/vendor/supplier-financing (C/V/S-F) system.

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We are particularly fascinated about the C/V/S-F system which you adopted in the RIVTAF Golf Estate. What is this system all about and how did it work for you in the marketing and sales of that estate?

The C/V/S-F system is a system wherein certain aspects of the development and infrastructure within the RIVTAF Golf Estate were financed by the contractors/vendors/suppliers themselves. So, rather than paying the contractors/vendors/suppliers for the services provided to us, we issue them with some properties for the contract sum and at negotiated prices. The contractors/vendors/suppliers in turn sell off these properties or collateralise the properties to finance the contract. This strategy was not limited to new contracts, it was extended to existing contracts that had been partly paid for as well as to contract that had been fully performed but with outstanding debts to the contractors/vendors/suppliers.

As a result of the C/V/S-F system adopted in the RIVTAF Golf Estate, the estate is nearing completion. Work has progressed significantly on our shopping mall and completion is now in view, liabilities have been reduced thereby freeing up funds for other operations and commitments of the company. The C/V/S-F system allowed our company to continue to create value and deliver on the promises made to our esteemed clients while our contractors/vendors/suppliers remained in business and continued to make profit. It is apposite to also note that this system guaranteed sales of our products. This is in view of the fact that properties given to contractors/vendors/suppliers in place of payment for services rendered are deemed as sales on our accounts as they are deemed to have been paid for by the receiving contractors/vendors/suppliers.

The challenge of the C/V/S-F system was a potential parallel market but this was well managed as the structure of the C/V/S-F system already anticipated this challenge and had ready preventive solutions for such potential challenge. Rather, a viable secondary market was created where contractors/vendors/suppliers became strategic players in the secondary market for our products.

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RIVTAF Golf Estate is a project with which you stamped your signature in the Nigerian real estate market. Any plan to replicate that in any other part of Nigeria? Where and when should we expect that to happen?

Yes, we intend to replicate and do even greater projects in Nigeria. TAF Nigeria Homes Limited and its sister companies across the African continent are driven by our vision to build 1million homes in the next 20 years. Nigeria remains one of the biggest economies for such projects. With an estimated population of over 184 million as at December 2017 (World Bank: The World Bank in Nigeria), a conservative estimate of 17 million units of housing deficit as at 2015, an annual population growth rate of 2.8 percent (National Population Commission and National Bureau of Statistics Estimates), the potentials of the real estate sector remains unimaginable. We are optimistic that the sector would recover from the negative results being reported and start experiencing positive growth. The Nigerian real estate sector can!

We want to believe that it has not been a bed of roses for you operating in Nigeria. What have been your major challenges in this country? Do you have any regrets being where you are?

Every business faces certain challenges and indeed a significant chunk of such challenges emanate from governments and regulators in each sector. We have had our share of this and can only ask that government makes increased efforts at improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria. Another significant challenge is the dearth of infrastructure in the country. The absence of infrastructure such as roads and efficient transport system impacts location and viability of a project. Infrastructure must be given its deserved attention by the government.

What are your projects in terms of growth and expansion in the next four to five years?

We have a couple of projects to deliver in Nigeria but I would not want to put the cart before the horse. We are in advanced level discussions with the governments of some key states in the South-Western and South-South regions of the country and have reached certain Agreements in Principle and signed a Memorandum of Understanding. In due course, these projects would come on stream. It may also interest you to know that we have built a formidable and highly competent team in Nigeria to manage the company’s operations in more than one location as we expand into other states..

CHUKA UROKO

NIA President laments neglect of Nigerian Architects

President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Arch. Festus Njoku, has expressed concerns over what he described as neglect of Nigerian architects in the execution of government projects.

Arch. Njoku stated this while speaking with Housing News Crew ahead of the NIA’s 4th distinguished lecture series scheduled to hold September 24 at Shehu Musa Yardua Center, Abuja.

He emphasized the importance of Nigerian architects, especially in the infrastructural development of the nation, saying undermining them is detrimental to the nation’s economy.

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The NIA President lamented on the patronage of foreign architects to execute what their Nigerian counterparts can do far more better.

His words; “The architect is the master builder. He conceives the idea and transfers to a paper through sketch where another person can read his mind.

“It is a pity things are no longer happening in our country. Now what is happening in our country, you see Chinese bringing this sort of package they call “loan,” but they go further to put conditions. ‘our men will do the work’. They will do the design, they will do the construction, and our governments are willing to have it that way.”

“We are not happy about it because Nigerian architects have the capacity to design all over the world.” “We cannot go to China to do their works for them.” He added.

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Articulating his vision as NIA President, Arch. Njoku said he looks forward to ensuring a reduction in the cost of housing delivery despite some challenges affecting the housing sector. He disclosed that plans were already in place to launch the ‘Nigeria Affordable House’.

“Although alternatives to expensive building materials have been discovered, it is hand woven by somebody which makes the cost higher. Therefore, a strategy to mechanize the whole process is being worked on to reduce cost of production. Nigeria Affordable House is already on the way. We will present it to the public next year.” He assured.

Ibrahim Muhammed, Housing News, Abuja.

NIA 4th Distinguished Lecture Series to celebrate Arc. Gabriel Aduku’s excellence in the Nigerian Architectural community

 

The President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Arc. Festus Adibe Njoku has said that the NIA is set to recognize and celebrate the immeasurable impacts of Arc. Gabriel Yusuf Aduku in the Nigerian Architectural Industry at its 4th Distinguished Lecture Series to hold on September 24th, 2018 at the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre, Abuja.

In a chat with HousingNews Correspondent earlier today, Arc. Festus explained that the distinguished lecture series is an annual event which was established as an avenue for past presidents to impart the knowledge they have acquired over the years to members of the association.

He made it known that as it’s the custom of the association; this year’s mantle has fallen on Arc. Gabriel Yakubu Aduku FNIA, PPNIA, OON a past president of NIA and the Principal Consultant & Director of Archon Nigeria Limited, to lecture the architectural community and Nigeria at large.

“… Arc. Gabriel Aduku is going to deliver this year’s lecture, somehow it’s like a parting gift to the profession where he will impart to us, what he want us to remember him for.” he said.

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The President added that the lecture series is “a time to give back to society… as a past president you must have gone through many stages and gathered many experiences right from the state chapter …so let him impart those ideas to the profession and to the society as we are celebrating his excellence by having him give us a distinguished lecture series”

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Also present in the chat session was Arc. Sunday Echono, Vice president of the NIA and the Chairman of the 4th distinguished lecture series committee. The NIA Vice President told HousingNews that the event will be a full program where excellence will be awarded and Arc. Aduku’s Book titled “Beyond simple lines” that “articulates his design philosophy, his accomplishments and the architectural culture that his firm has been able to establish and propagate in architectural economy” will be launched.

Arc. Sunday described Arc. Gabriel Aduku as “a man of many parts, he has led us as the president of NIA, ARCON, and if you look at the footprints he is someone who has played very key roles in our architectural economy. He is the first president from the northern part of the country and his firm Archcon Nigeria Limited is one of the top architectural firms in Northern Nigeria responsible for developing well known architects in northern Nigeria.”

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“His firm has been in operation for over 50years and has been producing so many architects who have gone on to also do lots of projects and a lot of that will be on display at the event” he added

Arc. Sunday enjoined friends, well wishers and every professional in the construction industry to come and join the Nigerian Institute of Architects to celebrate Arc. Gabriel Aduku an icon in the Nigerian architectural community.

“it is a period where we celebrate accomplished architects who have served the profession very well and also being a role model to the sector.” He said.

Wilson Ifeoma, HousingNews, Abuja

FG to demolish houses built on waterways in Abuja

 

The federal government has said it would demolish houses built on waterways that violated the master plan in its housing estates.

Minister of state, power, works & housing II, Surv Suleiman Zarma disclosed this in Abuja yesterday during the inspection tour of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) estate in Lugbe, Abuja, in company of the managing director of FHA, Prof Mohammed Al-amin. FHA Lugbe, which is the second oldest estate in Abuja apart from the one in Karu area of Abuja, is taunted by poor road network, poor waste management and illegal encroachment, which raised questions on the need for residents to embrace maintenance culture.

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The minister noted that federal government would pay compensation to owners of legal houses that would be affected during the renewal of FHA Lugbe adding that illegal structures built on waterways would be demolished without compensation. Zarma linked the current state of the estate as flagrant abuse of planning regulations by the residents and government staffs as well as the failure of the past administration to upgrade the existing infrastructures. The minister stated that the existing infrastructure are overstretched given the increased number of families that were not captured in the master plan, noting that he would liaise with FHA to review the plan and enforce areas earmarked for hospitals, schools and among others.

Also speaking, the managing director of FHA, Prof Mohammed Al-amin hinted that federal government has spent about N100 billion in building new houses from 2016 till date, stressing that FHA is currently utilising N10 bn in building houses in Zuba and Kwali. Al-amin emphasised that FHA together with Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) stopped getting funding for more than 13 years until last year, saying that the N150bn seed fund agreed by federal government to be released to agency has not been released till date.

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He pointed out that federal government has earmarked some money for urban renewal which would cut across FHA estates and local neighbourhood. In carrying out the renewal, Al-amin asserted that federal government would mobilise resources from other sources, stating that discussions are in progress with UN habitat for special intervention fund on urban renewal likewise from Shelter Afrique on slum upgrade. The MD expressed dissatisfaction over the illegal encroachment in FHA even as he lamented that the 20 metres space supposed to be left as floodable area is less than 5 metres.

He stated that FHA is in close collaboration with the FCT administration to enforce compliance of the Lugbe master plan irrespective of the social status of the violators adding that this is the first time any government would be building and maintaining existing infrastructure. On his part, the chairman, Lugbe residents association, Mr Adesina Odelana sought the intervention of federal government in building alternative roads in the estate, supposed to be housing almost one million people. While noting that the existing facilities at the estate are overstretched, he requested for the construction of police outpost, hospitals, schools and water. He said though the estate have been upgraded as Federal Capital City (FCC) that the residents are yet to reap the dividends of the upgrade.

Chika Okeke

Theresa May’s speech at the 2018 National Housing Federation Summit

PM Theresa May spoke to housing leaders at the National Housing Summit. Delivered on (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

It is a pleasure to be here with you all today at what is an event of firsts and lasts.

I will start with the lasts…

Reference has already been made to the fact this is David Orr’s final annual conference as Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation.

In his 12 years at the helm David has done much to refocus and reinvigorate the housing association sector, and has been a worthy champion for your cause.

David, it has been a pleasure working with you since I became Prime Minister, and I am very sorry to see you go.

But I know that, in Kate Henderson, the NHF has found a worthy successor and the right person to take the Federation on the next stage of its journey.

And, Kate, I am very much looking forward to getting to know you and working with you to tackle what remains one of the great challenges of our time.

While this may be David’s last NHF conference, I have to admit it is my first.

In fact I was shocked to discover that this is the first time in history any Prime Minister has spoken at what is the biggest event on the housing association calendar.

To me, that speaks volumes about the way in which social housing has, for too long and under successive governments, been pushed to the edge of the political debate.

At best taken for granted, at worst actively undermined.

Well, I’m very pleased to say that is no longer the case.

Because, since my very first day in Downing Street, I have made it my personal mission to fix our broken housing system.

Doing so underpins so much of what this government is working to achieve, from tackling loneliness to supporting the industries of the future.

And housing associations have a huge role to play in making sure that vision becomes a reality.

We are already making good progress.

Doing all we can to get more of the right homes built in the right places, so we can help more people onto the housing ladder – and ensure that those who cannot afford to own their own home also have a decent place to live.

We have committed tens of billions of pounds to getting homes built, including creating the infrastructure that unlocks sites where they are needed most.

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Our new National Planning Policy Framework has removed unnecessary barriers to homebuilding and made it harder for commercial developers to dodge their affordable home obligations.

We are gearing up Homes England to be more proactive and interventionist, so that it can drive more and better development.

The Affordable Homes Programme is supporting the delivery of a quarter of a million affordable homes right across the country, with thousands of them available for social rent.

And the Land Assembly and Small Sites funds, together worth more than £1.9 billion, are now available.

They allow us to make positive interventions in the land market, bring more sites to market, and capture more of the land value for the benefit of local communities.

Just this morning we have heard the NHF calling for more of the value generated by public investment and the planning system to be captured and invested in affordable homes, public services and local infrastructure.

It is an important issue, which is why the government consulted on it recently.

We will be responding in full in the near future.

But in the meantime let me assure you that we share your commitment to giving communities a fairer share of the value created by development.

Land is an irreplaceable natural resource, and we must make sure its use benefits us all.

As well as boosting housing supply, we are taking action to protect and support homeowners and tenants.

Banning letting agent fees for people who rent their homes.

Clamping down on rogue landlords and unscrupulous managing agents.

And bringing an end to unjustified use of leasehold.

I am sure many of the people in this room will have responded to our consultation on making longer, more family-friendly tenancies the norm – the results of that will be published shortly.

And our Green Paper on Social Housing, which was of course announced at last year’s NHF conference, offers a landmark opportunity for major reforms to improve fairness, quality and safety for all residents living in social housing.

James Brokenshire, Kit Malthouse, and ministers and officials right across government are pulling out all the stops to make sure everyone in this country has a safe, secure and affordable place to call home.

And already we are seeing the results.

In 2016/17, more than 217,000 additional homes were added across England.

That represents a 15 per cent increase on the previous year.

In fact, with the exception of one year, the last time we saw net completions this high Lady Thatcher was in Downing Street.

Yet we should not lose sight of the fact that the housing crisis we face today did not come about overnight.

It is the result of decades of neglect.

Year after year in which housebuilding of all kinds fell even as demand rose.

So, while the steps we are taking are already making a real and lasting difference to millions of lives, we should not pretend that our broken housing system can be fixed at the flick of a switch.

And nor should we see it as a challenge for central government alone.

Rather, it is a challenge we must rise to together.

One that can only be tackled by many different parties working together in partnership.

That is why, when local authorities asked us for a more robust planning framework and greater clarity over local plans and viability assessments, we made sure they got it.

When developers told us they needed greater investment in infrastructure and a reliable pipeline of skilled construction workers, we set about securing both.

And we have also been listening to housing associations.

After Sajid Javid told last year’s NHF conference that the government wanted to do more to support your sector, you asked us to do three things.

First, you said that to plan ahead and secure future investment, you needed long-term certainty on rents.

We have given you that long-term certainty.

Second, you said that to keep your properties affordable for all, the Local Housing Allowance cap should not be extended to the social sector.

We have not extended that cap.

And third, you said that if you were going to take a serious role in not just managing but building the homes this country needs, you had to have the stability provided by long-term funding deals.

Well, eight housing associations have already been given such deals, worth almost £600 million and paving the way for almost 15,000 new affordable homes.

And today, I can announce that new longer-term partnerships will be opened up to the most ambitious housing associations through a ground-breaking £2 billion initiative.

Under the scheme, associations will be able to apply for funding stretching as far ahead as 2028/29 – the first time any government has offered housing associations such long-term certainty.

Doing so will give you the stability you need to get tens of thousands of affordable and social homes built where they are needed most, and make it easier for you to leverage the private finance you need to build many more.

The offer is typical of the positive approach this government has taken with the housing sector since I became Prime Minister.

You asked, we delivered.

Now, I have something to ask of you.

Last year I told the big commercial developers that we would give them the support they asked for – but that, in return, we expected them to do their duty by getting homes built.

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Today, I’m asking housing associations to use the tools we have given you.

Not just to build more homes, though of course more homes are needed.

But to take the lead in transforming the very way in which we think about and deliver housing in this country.

Rather than simply acquiring a proportion of the properties commercial developers build, I want to see housing associations taking on and leading major developments themselves.

Because creating the kind of large-scale, high-quality developments this country needs requires a special kind of leadership.

Leadership you are uniquely well-placed to provide.

Your close ties with local communities give you an unparalleled insight into what a community needs in a development.

A clear vision for the whole site and how it can complement existing places, not just a narrow focus on fitting in the maximum number of units and the bare minimum of social homes.

Your social mission can ensure developments are rooted in a conception of the public good, rather than in a simple profit motive.

That means creating genuinely mixed communities with the right infrastructure and truly affordable housing.

Your unique status as public interested, non-profit private institutions allows you to attract patient investment and deploy it to secure long-term returns on quality rather than short-term speculative gains.

Your expertise as property managers means you can nurture attractive, thriving places for decades to come.

You are capable of riding out the ups and downs of the business cycle, as we saw in the years after the economic crash when housing associations carried on building even as private developers hunkered down.

And you do all this with the discipline, rigour and management qualities of the serious multi-million pound businesses that many of you are.

This combination of qualities allows housing associations to achieve things neither private developers nor local authorities are capable of doing.

And to see what that means on the ground, you need simply look at two major developments either side of the River Thames.

For years, the private sector struggled to make a success of Barking Riverside.

Lacking a guiding vision for the site and constrained by short-term business cycles, its huge potential went untapped.

Today, under the leadership of L&Q, the build-out rate has quadrupled.

The project is finally beginning to deliver on its potential, and is on course to become a thriving, growing community.

On the opposite bank, two local authorities had similar problems dealing with the unique challenges and opportunities of the Thamesmead estate.

Now, thanks to the commitment and insight of Peabody, there are ambitious plans for up to 20,000 new homes in one of the UK’s most over-subscribed cities.

Making complex projects like this work requires vision, determination and the courage to do development differently.

Housing associations possess that.

Given the right tools and the right support, you can act as the strategic, long-term investors in the kind of high-quality places this country needs.

To put it simply, you get homes built.

And I want to work with you to transform the way we do so.

But the unique status, rich history and social mission of housing associations mean you also have a much broader role to play.

A role that includes changing the way tenants and society as a whole think about social housing.

Midway through oral historian Tony Parker’s The People of Providence, the author recounts a conversation with a woman who lived on Southwark’s Brandon Estate, not far from where we are this morning.

“I wouldn’t want to be thought of as an estate person, not in any way at all,” she tells him. “I live here, but I’d never say to anyone my home is here.”

That conversation took place almost 40 years ago, but it could just as easily have happened today.

Because, for many people, a certain stigma still clings to social housing.

Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority.

And on the outside, many people in society – including too many politicians – continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home.

Part of the problem is physical, in the buildings themselves.

Whether unintentionally or by design, the decisions we make about the homes we build for social rent – their location, quality and appearance – can all too easily make them distinct from the community in which they stand.

This, in turn, can cement prejudice and stigma among those who live in them and wider society, leading to lowered expectations and restricted opportunities.

It shouldn’t be this way.

On a new mixed-tenure development, the social housing should not be tucked away behind the private homes, out of sight and out of mind.

As you look from building to building, house to house, you should not be able to tell simply by looking which homes are affordable and which were sold at the market rate.

The quality of aesthetic, design and build should not be any lower just because a property is to be managed by a housing association.

Some say that quantity, quality and affordability must always be traded off against one another.

Well to them, I say look at the Nansledan development outside Newquay.

A whole new community being built to meet local needs and with the support of local people.

Thousands of homes of all types and tenures.

All of the highest quality, in keeping with traditional local styles, and with no way of telling from the outside which properties are being built for housing associations and which are destined for the private market.

As builders yourselves and as large-scale buyers of homes, you have the power to deliver or demand the quality of social homes the people of this country deserve.

We should never see social housing as something that need simply be “good enough”, nor think that the people who live in it should be grateful for their safety net and expect no better.

Whether it is owned and managed by local authorities, TMOs or housing associations, I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home.

Proud to tell people where they live.

Proud to be thought of, in the words of Parker’s interviewee, as “an estate person”.

Our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens.

They should not have to put up with second-rate homes.

And that applies to management every bit as much as design and construction.

In 2018, most housing associations are not in the business of building houses.

Rather, you manage them, maintain them and take care not only of the buildings themselves but of the people who call them home.

It is work that is every bit as important as building and development and, when done badly, the impact can range from upsetting to catastrophic.

While it would not be right for me to pre-empt the findings of the public inquiry into the Grenfell tragedy, it is clear that many of the tower’s tenants felt ignored, patronised and overlooked by the TMO responsible for their homes and their safety.

Over the past year the issues they raised have been echoed by social housing tenants across the country.

Repairs botched or neglected.

Problems not dealt with.

Complaints ignored.

Again, it does not have to be this way.

Housing associations, with their historic social mission and focus on the civic good, can be at the forefront of showing what good property management looks like.

Across England, housing associations manage almost three million properties.

That gives you tremendous influence, the power to raise the standards of millions of homes and, in doing so, do much to shift perceptions of social housing.

And you can go further still, making a real and lasting difference to the lives of your tenants.

In my Maidenhead constituency I recently met a single mother whose housing association – Housing Solutions – hadn’t just provided her with a new home but opened up a whole new life for her.

Rather than simply managing her property, Housing Solutions connected her with the training and support she needed to start her own business.

That business is so successful she has been able to move from a social rented home into shared ownership, getting that vital first foot on the property ladder for her family.

Elsewhere, housing associations are helping some of society’s most vulnerable people: those without a home at all.

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Here in London, more than 50 associations are working with St Mungo’s and other organisations to deliver the Clearing House project, helping to get rough sleepers off the streets, out of danger, and on the road to a safe and secure future.

They are all wonderful examples of the work that housing associations can do above and beyond simply building and managing properties.

And they show how it is possible for the housing associations of 2018 to carry forward the social justice mission of the pioneers who created the sector in Victorian times – and their descendants who stepped up half a century ago in the wake of Cathy Come Home.

The rise of social housing in this country provided what has been called the “biggest collective leap in living standards in British history”.

It brought about the end of the slums and tenements, a recognition that all of us, whoever we are and whatever our circumstances, deserve a decent place to call our own.

Today, housing associations are the keepers of that legacy.

The bearers and protectors of a precious idea that has already made an immeasurable difference to tens of millions of lives and has the potential to transform countless more.

For too long, your work has gone unrecognised and under-appreciated at the highest levels.

But no longer.

This government values housing associations.

Over the past two years we have worked with you, listened to you, and responded to you.

You asked for our support, and you have our support.

Not mere lip service, but real policies, real change, real action.

Now it is your turn to act, building the homes we need and challenging the attitudes that hold us back.

Fixing our broken housing market will not be quick or easy.

But it can be done.

And, with this government’s support, housing associations can be at the centre of making it happen.

Building on more than a century of history, and carrying forward the torch of high-quality, affordable housing for generations to come.

 

Press Release

FHF to deliver decent accommodation for fairly low to modest income earners

 

The Managing Director of Family Homes Fund (FHF), Dr. Femi Adewole has said that FHF is committed to doing an excellent work in providing housing that people on low income can afford.

He made this statement during an Interview with HousingNews Crew earlier today in his office.

“we are doing tons of work in ensuring that we bank adequate land in good locations where these homes will be sited.

“We are ensuring that we maximize the efficiency of the design of these homes which is key to ensuring that we deliver the affordability that our people need” He said

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According to Dr. Femi, In line with the mandate which is centered on providing large scale affordable housing supply and economic development, “FHF is working in partnership towards providing up to 500,000 homes and 1.5million jobs from now till December, 2023”

“Primarily, we are working with partners who can build to scale so that we can harvest the economies of skills that then goes on to deliver lower prices to our target customers”

“we are currently talking to REDAN, Housing Corporations, Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing, State Governments, and other parastatals. We are bringing a whole range of people together to partner with us as they all have key roles in ensuring that this programme succeeds” he said.

Dr. Adewole said that FHF is putting a structure in place that allows people to actually be able to afford those houses and be able to buy them even after they have been built.

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“We are coming up and in the final stages of designing home loans assistance program that will ensure that our target market which is basically people who are earning fairly low to modest income can have access to decent accommodation at no more than 30% of their income.” He said.

The M.D. Family Homes Fund expressed with assurance that FHF being the largest housing fund in Sub-Saharan Africa stands a strong chance in delivering on its mandate.

“Because of the large capital that we have, the Family Homes Fund is the largest housing fund in sub-Saharan Africa so we are financing the program with a significantly concessionary interest and rate for development. If we put all those things together, I think it gives us a strong chance for delivering on the mandate.”

Wilson Ifeoma, HousingNews, Abuja.

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