California real estate is so expensive that families, retirees, and even tech workers are living in cars and vans

  • California real estate is so expensive that families, retirees, and even the employed are living in cars, vans, and boats.
  • A recent Slate article explored the rising epidemic and found that 15,000 people live in vehicles in Los Angeles alone.
  • Local governments are attempting to crack down on the problem, which has led to the rise of safe parking programs.

Cars are no longer just a means of transportation. In a time when rents are soaring and housing prices are on the climb, they’re also doubling as a home.

Look no further than California, where the median price for a home is at a record high of $600,000 and sleeping in cars is a common occurrence. A recent Slate article explored the rising epidemic on America’s West Coast and found that 15,000 people live in cars, vans, and RVs in Los Angeles alone, citing the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s not counting car dwellers in other expensive California cities, like San Diego and San Francisco.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

The problem has become so severe that local governments are trying to “tighten parking restrictions or ban vehicle residency,” writes Slate reporter Amy Pollard. These crackdowns have led to the rise of safe parking programs. Run by nonprofits and some city governments, they try to accommodate vehicle residents with safety rules and regulations, according to Slate.

Dreams for Change in San Diego runs three lots with 150 spaces and 325 residents (people often share a car) — each space costs $2,950 a year for the company to operate. Caseworkers visit often, there is no entry after 10 p.m., RVs aren’t allowed, and neither are sex offenders.

“In the tight housing markets of West Coast cities, it’s not just the destitute or the unemployed who see their cars as their best option,” writes Pollard, adding that the residents of Dreams for Change consist of families, retirees, and even tech workers making near six figures.

In San Francisco, 59% of employees at tech companies can’t afford homes, Business Insider’s Melia Robinson previously reported, citing stats from Blind, an app for tech workers.

Graham Pruss, a researcher and former outreach worker for Seattle’s Road to Housing program, told Slate that cars are “a new form of affordable housing” in Seattle too, adding that he’s met Amazon workers who live in vehicles while saving up money to buy a home one day.

People are living in boats and vans too

Californians in need of housing aren’t picky — they’re also resorting to living in boats and vans.

Misa Gidding-Chatfield and Mike Kraft decided to live in San Francisco Bay on a 900 square-foot houseboat to save money, Robinson reported. At $300,000, it cost less to buy than a half-million dollar home on the outskirts of the Bay Area.

Tracey Kaplan, a reporter for the Bay Area News Group, also considered a houseboat, but didn’t want the $1,500 slip fees. Instead, she cashed out her retirement fund to buy a cargo van for $53,894, she explained in an article for The Mercury News. She’s spending an additional $37,000 on renovating it into a home.

Both options are still way cheaper than a traditional house in Bay Area, where a median-priced home sells for $1.9 million and buyers commonly bid hundreds of thousands above asking prices, Robinson reported. Consequently, only about 12% of households can afford a home there.

Joining the #vanlife movement helps Kaplan avoid spending most of her salary on a place to live in San Francisco and allows her to save more so she can travel when retired.

“I spent years anxiously searching for a viable housing solution that would allow me to retire in the Bay Area without going broke,” she wrote in the article. As the trend grows in popularity around the Bay Area, her biggest concern is finding a place to legally park her new home.

“I’ve already found some unusual solutions, including getting permission to sleep in a secluded lot in an industrial area of San Jose and renting a spot for a small fee in the Santa Cruz Mountains,” she wrote. “Many vanners ‘stealth park,’ a practice that refers to camping secretly, which often includes parking illegally. But I hope I don’t have to.”

Source: Hillary Hoffower

Cooperative, devt partners plan N20bn affordable housing scheme

Staff Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) (NPDC-SMPCS) and their development partners are perfecting plans to build a mini city that will offer affordable housing to the members of the co-operative.
The new housing scheme to be known as Golden City Estate is to be located at Utesi near Benin, in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo City and is estimated to cost N2 billion on completion.
Amos Mabur, president, NPDC- SMPCS, explained that the housing project wouldl be executed in partnership with three development partners that would provide funding and technical expertise while the cooperative provides the land. These partners are Dreamcity Property And Investments Limited, Citiprops Limited and Landscape Transformers Limited.
Mabur who spoke at the site re-opening and ground breaking ceremony for the construction of 2-Mega Watts Captive Power Plant in Benin-City, hinted that the estate would feature modern residential areas, hotels, tourism, entertainment and other 21st century and beyond facilities which will be found in the developed world.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

“The estate is also planned as a self-sustaining mini city where occupants can live, work and play and enjoy all the amenities and services essential for safe and comfortable modern living; some of the state- of- art include 24 hours dedicated electricity and water, Nursery and Primary school as well as Crèche, clinic, pharmacy, fire department, musical water fountain, international 5-Star hotel among others”, he said.
He disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with Highland Energy Solution Services Limited for the provision of a 2 MW Power Plant in the estate for 24 hours.


Akinpelu Shogunke, managing director of HighLand Energy Solution Services Limited (HESSL), managers of the project, said the initiative for the power project was taken by the NPDC-SMPCS. He said the power company and consortium partners which include VTT LNG ( West Africa ) Limited, the fuel supplier and gas aggregator is partnering NPDC-SMPCS and others to provide a sustainable electrical energy supply strategy implementing a Captive Independent Electrical Power Concession Infrastructure Scheme at the site.


He said the estimated $3.5 million power plant become necessary following the perennial epileptic power supply in the state and Nigeria in general with a view to ensuring that a clean and stable supply of electricity is available on a 24-hour basis weekly.
He added that in the Estate, HESSL Consortium shall generate and distribute electric power within the estate to serve all the industries, commercial businesses, recreation centres, educational centres and residents in the estate.
“Excess energy generated in the estate shall be made available, particularly to the existing satellite towns and communities that would develop around the estate, through the national electric grid to which the estate grid shall be connected.
“This connection to the PHCN grid may also serve as a backup for electricity generated within the estate as and when required; to this end HESSL Consortium shall establish a sound working relationship with PHCN or its approved representative to achieve this purpose”, he stated.

Source: Idris Umar Momoh Benin

HUD continues to report increases in homelessness

Like last year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported yet another annual increase in homelessness.

“Our state and local partners are increasingly focused on finding lasting solutions to homelessness even as they struggle against the headwinds of rising rents,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “Much progress is being made and much work remains to be done but I have great hope that communities all across our nation are intent on preventing and ending homelessness.”

 

However, even this is a slowdown from previous years. Last year, veteran homelessness increased for the first time in seven years. And the chart below, released by HUD earlier this year, shows even this year’s decrease is down significantly from previous years.

Homelessness

(Source: HUD)

And this slowdown comes despite HUD’s multiple funding efforts for homelessness. Some of those efforts include when HUD announced it was awarding $2 billion to homeless assistance programs, when HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gave $43 million to find homes for homeless veterans and when HUD granted $43 million to help end youth homelessness.

Back in 2017, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in an exclusive interview with HousingWire that President Donald Trump’s budget lacked vision and that it would create more homeless veterans.

As the chart above shows, homeless veterans did increase in 2017. However, they decreased again in 2018. And Trump’s 2019 budget proposal would boost HUD’s funding by 1% from the previous cuts he made to the department. When Trump first took office, he cut HUD’s budget by 13.2%.

HUD also pointed out that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate, along with western wildfires and other storms and events, caused an increase of 4,000 people living in emergency shelters.

While 31 states and the District of Columbia reported a decrease in homelessness in 2018, 19 states offset this and reported increases.

“Communities across the country are getting better and better at making sure that people exit homelessness quickly through Housing First approaches,” said Matthew Doherty, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness executive director. “We know, however, that a lack of housing that people can afford is the fundamental obstacle to making further progress in many communities.”

The chart below shows the estimate of people experiencing homelessness from 2007 to 2018.

 

Homelessness

(Source: HUD)

While most of the homeless population lives in shelters, the chart shows 194,467 were unsheltered.

Source: Kelsey Ramírez

Australian Opposition leader unveils $6.6bn affordable housing plan

​Bill Shorten used his opening address to Labor’s national conference to unveil new subsidies to promote more affordable housing at a cost of $6.6bn over a decade.

Shorten took the opportunity of his opening pitch to the delegates and onlookers gathered in Adelaide for the three-day event to commit to a target of 20,000 houses built in the first term of a Labor government.

The policy,offers 15-year subsidies of $8,500 a year to investors who build new houses, with the taxpayer support conditional on the dwellings being rented to eligible tenants at 20% below market rent.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

Shorten planned to tell conference delegates Labor’s mission between now and the next federal election is not only to secure government, but also “rebuild trust in our democracy” and “restore meaning to the fair go”.

“We must revitalise around the nation what we in this hall hold as an article of faith: the idea that government has the power to bring meaningful progress into people’s lives,” the Labor leader told delegate.

“Rental affordability is a national challenge and it demands national leadership. Building more affordable housing is infrastructure policy. It is cities policy. It is jobs and productivity policy. And it is population policy”.

Shorten says the policy will provide certainty for property investors to build new dwellings knowing that subsidies are available for a decade. The program builds on the existing national rental affordability scheme.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute estimates there is currently a shortfall of more than 525,000 affordable rental properties in Australia.

The Labor leader says access to housing stands as one of the biggest challenges in addressing intergenerational inequality. “There is a persistent and increasing wealth gap which is locking Australians out of the housing market”.

But there have been several policy flash point into the event including a debate about wheter to commit to an increase in the Newstart payment,and an argument over environmental regulations.

A draft national platform signed off by the ALP national executive in October committed Labor to significant legal reforms as well as an independent national Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and a national environment commission that would act as an environmental watchdog – but the shadow environment minister, Tony Burke, is resisting some of those changes.

There has been intensive work to iron out contested positions on refugee policy, trade and workplace relations reform, and well as contentious foreign policy issues, like the recognition of Palestinian statehood. The factional caucuses met in Adelaide on Saturday afternoon in advance of Sunday morning’s kick off.

The Labor leadership has been negotiating with the trade union leadership for months on a range of policies that would strengthen the current regulatory framework, with that dialogue an effort to minimise public confrontation in Adelaide.

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, the most influential union on Labor’s left, has signalled it will push to strengthen the party’s stance on labour relations. Ahead of the conference, the CFMMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor said: “Record low wage growth and inequality are hurting our economy and our society.”

“Wages will only improve if we improve the voice and bargaining power of workers through strengthening trade unions and increasing trade union membership.”

It also looks likely there will be a ballot of the conference for positions on the party’s national executive – which is unusual.

Johannesburg Partners Private Firms For Affordable Housing Projects

Johannesburg has identified 84 buildings in and around the inner city for development by private-sector companies into housing for 300 000 people in the city who do not have housing.

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba emphasises that the city needed this type of partnership with the private sector to provide affordable housing because it cannot solve the problem by itself.

He stresses that the city’s work to reduce lawlessness and improve the inner city has supported its project to identify, expropriate where necessary, and redevelop or repurpose buildings to provide safe and affordable housing.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) CEO Helen Botes highlights that the city will have a further 86 buildings that it will release by March 2019, if the JPC is granted approval by the city council. These buildings are mainly in the Orange Grove areas.

The city will release more than 100 buildings over the next three years and is also looking at creating similar housing development opportunities in the areas of Roodepoort and Randburg and along Louis Botha avenue, confirms Mashaba.

The city will be responsible for providing the bulk infrastructure connections for the buildings, but imposes certain criteria on bidders for the buildings, including technical competence and capacity, black ownership and empowerment, that they densify the city and create jobs and provide for the training of artisans during construction.

This is done to ensure that the city has the necessary artisans in the next ten to fifteen years to maintain the buildings. Bidders could also consider buying the buildings or securing them on long-term leases, according to their needs, he explains.

“The city cannot build sufficient houses to overcome the challenge of providing affordable housing for the people who work and live in it. “We need to approach the private sector as partners to secure ideas for the development and use of these buildings to provide affordable housing. We can create the opportunities by proposing these buildings.”

Additionally, Mashaba highlights the need to develop student accommodation precincts and safe, affordable student accommodation for the 80 000 students in the city.The demand for housing and student accommodation is high, he adds.

Mashaba adds that the city has to deal with the housing issue as a priority and small businesses aiming to invest in buildings are better served forming joint ventures with other companies. The city has to give priority to those offers that are ready to proceed, he adds.

Further, he says that they are relying on the private sector to come up with ideas, such as energy management or renewable energy systems, as part of their proposals and factored into their financial calculations.

However, Mashaba maintains that the city aims to support the creation of as many housing units as possible to densify the city and that bulk infrastructure would be necessary to power these buildings.

“We must focus on creating an enabling environment for the private sector. We have, thus, capacitated the teams dealing with regulatory approvals and hired additional people into the planning department to fast-track the processes.”

It has identified close to 500 buildings in the inner city that it wants to turn around over the long term. It has also ensured that inner-city projects are given preference in the planning and approval processes.

How improved access to affordable housing can benefit the average Nigerian

Shelter is one of the basic needs of man, and the idea of affordable housing to cater to this need is both practical and viable. According to the The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN–Habitat), 30 per cent of the world’s urban population resides in slums, with deplorable conditions, where people suffer from several deficiencies, including lack of access to improved water, absence of sewage facilities, living in overcrowded conditions, and in buildings that are structurally unsound.

There are conflicting figures about Nigeria’s housing deficit, but experts often quote between 17 and 21 million. Affordable Housing refers to housing that addresses the needs of the low-income earners in the society. This is the section of the society whose income is below the medium household earnings, and the majority of masses of Nigeria belong to this category.

With over 170 million people, Nigeria, the most populous country in black Africa, has a population of over 70 million low-income people.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

Recently, a minimum wage of N30,000 was approved for the Nigerian workers, while the disposable income of majority of the fresh graduates (not the ones employed in blue-chip companies) is less than N60, 000 per month.

Affordable housing has remained elusive to the average Nigerian, in spite of numerous programmes to tackle affordable housing challenges in the country.

The low and middle income earners especially, are the most affected by this. Due to affordability, they live in densely populated or informal ‘slum’ areas. The high income earners, 1% of the population, occupy a small percentage of the housing stock.

Therefore, the majority of newly built homes in city centres are left unoccupied. Thus, the problem of affordable housing remains a critical issue in the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigeria.

For example, in Lagos State, the price tags placed on the units of the Lagos HOMS Project cannot be classified as being for low-income earners, especially when considered from the United Nations standpoint, where an adult is not expected to spend more than 30 per cent of his/her income on housing (By international standards a house should not cost more than three times the occupiers’ annual income.)

Let us take the N4.3 million apartment as an example. You are expected to pay the 30 per cent down payment and the rest over 20 years. The minimum wage is N30, 000 and the annual cumulative is N360, 000.

Thirty per cent of the N4.3 million apartment is N1.29 million and monthly payment would be N25, 083.00, which is almost equal to the basic salary.

Since the United Nations said you should not spend more than 30 per cent of your income on housing, the 30 per cent of the basic annual income is N108, 000.

It means a Level One officer should not spend more that N108, 000 annually on housing, because it is assumed that from his earnings he would make provisions for transportation, school fees and feeding.

So, you know he cannot even afford it and it is not affordable. These prices or rents cut-off the masses who need the accommodation.

When you add the interest rate of about 9.5 per cent, the total sum goes to about N17m to N18 million to be paid over 10 years.

So, it is obvious you are not also planning for middle-income earners. So, the Lagos HOMS is still feeding the high-income earners.

A Level 14 officer should have put in an average of 10 years of service, but in spite of that, he cannot key into the state housing project. If such officer cannot, then for whom is such a project meant? Things like this kill motivation among the workforce.

For instance, someone is earning N150, 000 per month, minus 30 per cent present accommodation need, minus other needs, including school fees and feeding.

What would be left that would serve as disposable income that can be put into housing programme? So, first and foremost, I cannot afford the 30 per cent down payment from my salary.

It becomes a burden and one begins to wonder how long it would take to own a house in Lagos.

In view of the above, some steps to alleviating the problems of affordable housing delivery include concentrating on ways to provide the enabling environment for mass housing production.

Basic building materials should be given tax and duty relief and government could develop incentives to encourage both the public and private sectors to use indigenous building materials.

Other strategies may include granting tax holidays to developers and providing free land to them to reduce the cost of producing houses.

Sites and service plots could be provided to private sectors, housing cooperatives, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and individuals.

Plots could be allocated at different rates per square meter for different uses. The low-income earners should have the lowest rate with the size of each plot not more than 150 square meters.

The basis of allocation should strictly be one man one plot, members of (REDAN) should be encourage and motivated with tax incentives, subsidized building materials and discounted rate per square meter.

Plots allocated for affordable housing schemes must not be fraudulently used for medium or high income housing projects. There should be sanctions and strict penalties for violation of terms and conditions stipulated on the letter of allocation.

For successful implementation of this scheme, it is imperative to study and assess the actual housing needs of the low income earners. It should be known that before low-income earners can afford to buy or rent houses the price or rent must be low or subsidized by the government.

“Until we are able to provide housing that artisans can afford, that is when the people would say that there is affordable housing for the common man. With that, low-income earners would have some housing units targeted at them.

The role of govt in the quest for affordable housing

Making housing affordable to the teeming population in the housing deficits is a tedious task that glares the government of Nigeria in the face. Government of Nigeria cannot lay claim that it is not aware of the huge housing deficits in the country. The problem has been the will to halt the spending binge in other sectors and see what could be done to salvage the housing sector. A lot of things are open to government in this direction if it really wants to curb the scourge that has remained undaunted.

For government to support the creation of affordability in the housing sector, it must unlock the lands whether in the urban or in the rural areas. Land has remained the major factor that raises the cost of building housing in Nigeria. In cities, this cost of land is more noticeable because of demand for land and various things that follow. To reduce the land cost, the best thing cities can do is to make more land available for housing, preferably land that puts poor people near opportunities. Siting affordable housing on the outskirts of town runs the risk of cementing poverty, rather than alleviating it.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

An expert who considered the challenges that face housing relating to land recommends that cities should pursue transit-oriented development (housing built around new lines and stations), open up unused public land, and have policies designed to get development started quicker (like higher taxes for land that sits idle). Inclusionary planning, meanwhile, allows developers to build more densely in return for commitments to make more affordable housing available.

Another factor that is very imperative whenever housing and building is concerned is building materials. Majority of times, when a beginner considers the cost of procuring building materials, he becomes discouraged to continue. In this regards, government needs to regulate price of building materials and liberalise importation of some that are must use but not locally produced. A new report forecasts a growing shortage of reasonably priced housing in the coming decades, based on current migration and income trends.

This is owing to the increasing wide gap between the rich and the poor and the desire for the poor to migrate to the city in search of greener pastures. Although, they run to the city, they don’t meet affordable housing instead, what they meet is unaffordable and scarcity. One expert defines affordable as 30 per cent of income, and its 440 million figure includes 200 million existing households in developing countries, 32 million households in advanced economies living in substandard housing, and 100 million households that are finding it hard to meet their costs. On top of that, it expects 106 million households to join the ranks of the stretched by 2025. That has huge implications for society. The report said, for families lacking decent affordable housing, health outcomes are poorer, children do less well in school and tend to drop out earlier, unemployment and under-employment rates are higher, and financial inclusion is lower.

Of all the building materials, cement in Nigeria is very cardinal and unless the cost of cement is crashed, two things are involved. One is the fact that more people will not be able to build their own houses. The other one is that those who managed to build will be rationing the formula and the solutions which will eventually result in building collapse. So government need to crash the price of cement and give more licenses to other local producers as a way of making it more competitive.

African Organization for Standardisation, at the recent meeting in Nairobi while discussing why so many African buildings collapse, observed that it results when materials in use are not strong enough to withhold the load. The implication is that counterfeit materials constitute more of the building materials used. It has been observed that due to real estate boom, new high-rise buildings are coming up everywhere and there is a huge competition in the sector. In order to stay competitive, the builders are hard-pressed to complete these buildings as early as possible. This has resulted in flouting of various building norms by the builders.

Many also employ unskilled workmen and use poor building materials without any proper structural design that ultimately lead to the collapse of the buildings. Unfortunately building collapse are a regular phenomenon in rapidly urbanizing cities of Nigeria. Such accidents often involve buildings in low-income, semi-formal and informal housing sectors. There are indeed gaps in the system that lead to poor construction which need to be addressed at various levels. Most of the illegally constructed buildings are more often than not, likely to be substandard and dangerous. The buildings which are constructed without professional engineering protocols and usually with untrained construction workers are most vulnerable.

Another aspect is in the improving of the productivity in the construction industry. This would also help make more housing units available. Here experts recommend standardizing more aspects of home design, and doing more construction off-site then wheeling it into place. “The off-site manufacturing process improves quality and enables the developer to shrink schedules by having parts delivered as needed, rather than waiting for them to be fabricated on site. Also the activities of land speculators help in raising price of houses. When you bought a land for N800,000 and the Omoniles force you to pay extra N300,000 totaling it to N1.1 million, then at the finishing, you calculate all that went into it and that makes the cost skyrocketing. For this to stop, government should keep real surveillance on the activities of land speculators commonly called Omoniles. Location is even more important when choosing a site as the quicker you sell the plots on the better, and the speed of sale can mean the difference between good profits and going out of business.

When you are choosing a site, it is important that you try and anticipate every problem and deal with it before you buy the site. When you come to sell, solicitors are likely to raise the problem. You need to assume that your buyer will choose the most awkward and slowest solicitors in the country. You need to anticipate their every whim and pre-empt their questions. If your lawyer can produce a detailed pack about the property in which you have addressed every problem and found a solution, it will be tempting for the lawyer acting for your plot buyer to rely upon that. Hopefully, he/she will not be able to raise any additional questions as all problems will already have been covered.

How Improved access to affordable housing can benefit the common man

Shelter is one of the basic needs of man, and the idea of affordable housing to cater to this need is both practical and viable.

According to the The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), 30 per cent of the world’s urban population resides in slums, with deplorable conditions, where people suffer from several deficiencies, including lack of access to improved water, absence of sewage facilities, living in overcrowded conditions, and in buildings that are structurally unsound.

There are conflicting figures about Nigeria’s housing deficit, but experts often quote between 17 and 21 million.

With over 170 million people, Nigeria, the most populous country in black Africa, has a population of over 70 million low-income people.

Recently, a minimum wage of N30,000 was approved for the Nigerian workers, while the disposable income of majority of the fresh graduates (not the ones employed in blue-chip companies) is less than N60, 000 per month.

Affordable housing has remained elusive to the average Nigerian, in spite of numerous programmes to tackle affordable housing challenges in the country.

The low and middle income earners especially, are the most affected by this.

Due to affordability, they live in densely populated or informal ‘slum’ areas. The high income earners, 1% of the population, occupy a small percentage of the housing stock.

Therefore, the majority of newly built homes in city centres are left unoccupied. Thus, the problem of affordable housing remains a critical issue in the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigeria.

For example, in Lagos State, the price tags placed on the units of the Lagos HOMS Project cannot be classified as being for low-income earners, especially when considered from the United Nations standpoint, where an adult is not expected to spend more than 30 per cent of his/her income on housing (By international standards a house should not cost more than three times the occupiers’ annual income.)

Thirty per cent of the N4.3 million apartment is N1.29 million and monthly payment would be N25, 083.00, which is almost equal to the basic salary.

Since the United Nations said you should not spend more than 30 per cent of your income on housing, the 30 per cent of the basic annual income is N108, 000.

It means a Level One officer should not spend more that N108, 000 annually on housing, because it is assumed that from his earnings he would make provisions for transportation, school fees and feeding.

So, you know he cannot even afford it and it is not affordable. These prices or rents cut-off the masses who need the accommodation.

When you add the interest rate of about 9.5 per cent, the total sum goes to about N17m to N18 million to be paid over 10 years.

So, it is obvious you are not also planning for middle-income earners. So, the Lagos HOMS is still feeding the high-income earners.

A Level 14 officer should have put in an average of 10 years of service, but in spite of that, he cannot key into the state housing project.

For instance, someone is earning N150, 000 per month, minus 30 per cent present accommodation need, minus other needs, including school fees and feeding.

What would be left that would serve as disposable income that can be put into housing programme? So, first and foremost, I cannot afford the 30 per cent down payment from my salary.

It becomes a burden and one begins to wonder how long it would take to own a house in Lagos.

In view of the above, some steps to alleviating the problems of affordable housing delivery include concentrating on ways to provide the enabling environment for mass housing production.

Basic building materials should be given tax and duty relief and government could develop incentives to encourage both the public and private sectors to use indigenous building materials.

Other strategies may include granting tax holidays to developers and providing free land to them to reduce the cost of producing houses.

Sites and service plots could be provided to private sectors, housing cooperatives, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and individuals.

The basis of allocation should strictly be one man one plot, members of (REDAN) should be encourage and motivated with tax incentives, subsidized building materials and discounted rate per square meter.

Plots allocated for affordable housing schemes must not be fraudulently used for medium or high income housing projects.

There should be sanctions and strict penalties for violation of terms and conditions stipulated on the letter of allocation.

For successful implementation of this scheme, it is imperative to study and assess the actual housing needs of the low income earners.

It should be known that before low-income earners can afford to buy or rent houses the price or rent must be low or subsidized by the government.

“Until we are able to provide housing that artisans can afford, that is when the people would say that there is affordable housing for the common man. With that, low-income earners would have some housing units targeted at them.

 

Affordable Housing Advocates Hope to Use the Democratic Majority in the House to Press for More Funding

The insufficient funding for public housing is leading to a decay of affordable housing stock.

Much of the focus at the event was on Washington, D.C.,where the results of the November 2018 election will give Democrats like Jeffries a new opportunity to fight for their legislative priorities. Affordable housing is near the top of the list—and Jeffries had a particular promise to make for public housing.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

The congressman also pledged to fight to strengthen the federal low-income housing tax credits offerings, Sec. 202 and Sec. 8 voucher program.

Federal action to come

The pledge by Rep. Jeffries comes after a surprisingly good year for the affordable housing industry. Twelve months ago, lawmakers in Congress considered proposals to curtail or shut down some of the most important federal programs to build and renovate affordable housing. That included the massive reform of the federal tax code. The administration of President Donald Trump also proposed to eliminate federal programs like HOME and the Community Development Block Grants and cut the funding for capital repairs at public housing down to zero.

“Who would have thought that was possible?” said David Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, speaking at a morning panel at the event. “We had never gotten that size of increase to the HUD budget in that time period.”

That success has given advocates for affordable housing new confidence, though the Trump Administration is likely to once again propose an austere federal budget to Congress, full of ideas like its proposals last year to give zero dollars in capital repair funding to public housing.

“Advocacy works,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Advocates like Yentel hope to use the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to press for new funding for affordable housing—though any new spending will have be paid for with some new income.

“Under the Budget Control Act, they have minimal ability to propose new ideas,” said Yentel. “We are back under the really tight spending caps that we were under previously.”

Advocates vow to fight the decay of public housing

Rep. Jeffries promise to fight for public housing reflects a top priority for housing advocates.

That’s especially true in New York, where public housing is once again in the news. Heating systems failed for thousands of public housing residents over Thanksgiving weekend. That led to another series of humiliating headlines for the troubled New York City Housing Authority.

“Now stories start coming about water not running in public housing here in New York City… that’s what $50 billion in unmet public housing capital repair needs looks like,” according to Yentel.

For decades, federal budgets written by Congress have given local housing authorities less cash than federal officials said would be enough to maintain public housing. In the last 10 years, Congress cut that already insufficient amount of federal money in half, according to Dworkin. Public housing across the country now has $50 billion in unmet capital needs, such as roofs and heating systems that need to be replaced.

Source: Bendix Anderson

Family Homes Funds invest N20 billion in 5 housing projects for low income earners

Mr Femi Adewole, Managing Director, Family Homes Funds says that it has invested over N20 billion into five ongoing projects to enable the medium and low income earners in the society own their houses.

Adewole was speaking at the Fund Raising of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and Advocacy Lecture Series with the theme ” FHF Construction Finance-A New Hope of Financing Affordable Housing.

He said a lot of money is needed to target about 500,000 housing units for low-income earners.

He said thecurrent locations for the project are – the millinium city in Kaduna which is housing about 650 homes, the royal city in Kano of about 757 homes, in Asaba, Delta state of about 620 homes, Ogun state about1,074 homes and FCT about 580 homes.

He added that support had been received from the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the World Bank among others to address housing deficit in Nigeria.

“We have a strong commitment. We have invested over N20 billion to five housing projects to support Nigerians who are earning below N100,000. We are also providing financing for developers who will build homes ranging between N2.5 million to N5 million.

“In addition, we are providing some assistance to the buyers of those houses and we are given them a deferred loan for up to 40 per cent cost of the houses.

“We need a lot of money to house and achieve the target of 500,000 homes and that money is not going to come from the Federal Government alone.

“So, we are developing partnership with a whole range of development institutions, the African Development Bank, the World Bank are just two of the many institutions we are talking to who are providing support for us.

“We have invested over N20 billion into five housing projects which are ongoing. Those projects have about 3600 homes in them.”

Adewole noted that by the end of December, the organisation should have committed to another 20,000 homes which he said would commence construction in 2018.

Also, Mr Ugochukwu Chime, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN) advocated for increased funding of the housing sector to enable the medium and low income earners own their houses.

Chime said the theme was coming at a time when housing in Nigeria required significant quantum of funds to provide housing for the low income earners in the society.

According to him, our concentration over the years on demand induced supply based on market forces has not yielded the desired dividends.

“This is because the value chain and transaction dynamics that will produce such effective linkage is non existent.

“While we note that there is housing gap in the economy and realise that income level is low, the social intervention initiative of the Federal Government via the instrumentality of the family homes funds need to be clearly understood.”

Chime added that REDAN was working hard towards ensuring that members acquire requisite knowledge in respect of the business of real estate development.

He further said that the association had went into partnership with Centre for Housing Studies of the University of Lagos to serve as a hub for training of members.

He, therefore, promised to work with stakeholders in the sector to ensure it move away from the learning curve to a higher pedestal of project feasibility, execution and closure.

WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Translate »

You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Housing News will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.