Federal government housing intervention program, Family Homes Funds has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Construction Skills Training and Empowerment Project Ltd/Gte C-STEMP, an organization with a vision to build a pool and database of certified artisans with the requisite skills to meet industry needs that translate to better quality of work and life for all stakeholders.
Through strategic partnerships with various players in the Housing sector and some of the world’s leading Development Finance Institutions, Family Homes Funds has an ambitious commitment to facilitate the construction of 500,000 homes by 2024 and whilst doing that enable the creation of at least 1,500,000 direct and indirect jobs.
As part of this commitment, the FHFL is seeking to work with developers to create vocational jobs and empowerment programs and products for low to medium-income earners currently in or potentially interested in building a career in the construction trades.
As part of this empowerment program, the FHFL recognizes the need to incorporate training, assessment and certification as a condition for beneficiaries to access its programs and to ensure that only skilled labour are utilized on its projects. It is on this basis that it is now partnering with C-STEMP – to provide affordable and quality homes while creating jobs for highly qualified persons.
In partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Finance and international financial institutions, Family Homes Funds has become a pivotal force in delivering affordable housing to Nigerians through multiple schemes including Help-to-own, Rent-to-own, affordable and flexible mortgage plans among others.
The Funds has so far developed at least 1000 homes with another 3000 at different stages of development. They have been able to create about 1400 jobs through these projects. Over 500 units have been completed in Nasarawa state, 750 in Kano, 650 in Delta and many more all over the country.
According to Femi Adewole, the Fund is here because it is not enough to supply houses without taking care of the demand side. Their role is primarily to meet affordable housing demands in Nigeria.
Brexit shows a need for a new conversation across Europe and beyond, locally nationally and globally. Social housing providers should consolidate efforts, concentrate on common challenges, exchanging ideas and advice and bringing our message loud and clear to the tables of policymakers at all levels.
Housing Europe facilitates exchange between members on what works at local level, for example by working on land allocation policies or ‘housing first’ capacity building, while also engaging with the global policy community.
Housing Europe Member, the National Housing Federation (NHF) from the UK assessed the most important aspects of exiting of the Single Market for the housing sector which include:
the OJEU public procurement procedure: it remains an integral part of EU competition law and tends to be the quid pro quo for trading with Europe
Building new homes: construction skills shortage are already present and will probably grow
Cost of materials imported from Europe: free movement of goods will no longer be in place and costs are likely to rise.
Investment: housing associations will not be able to access a number of current EU funds (in particular Structural Funds, AMIF) but there may be some benefits as state aid rules are no longer applied.
Housing demand: immigration is likely to create great uncertainty without any immediate effect on demand.
Our 4 Federations in the UK would like to continue to invest new affordable homes of all tenures and deliverer services. It is also clear that the risks would need to be clarified on the skills shortages in construction and social care. And in order to continue to further provide livable communities, our Members need long-term certainty and control over business costs, as well as alternative funding to replace Structural Funds.
If uncertainty is prolonged, then inflation takes hold, and targeted investment to less economically competitive communities is lost and not replaced. It also means higher cost of borrowing for housing providers.
How does the future of EU funding look like in the UK?
There are several funding programmes and sources that will be impacted by Brexit including Structural Funds, sources from EIB, H2020, AMIF, or EaSI.
With regards to the EIB lending, the main problem for affordable housing providers is that UK has no national promotional bank and relies on EIB funding for investments in infrastructure and other projects.
Article 50 is not applicable in the relation with EIB, however, we should note that after the leaving point, the UK
will not be part of the Governance Board,
will get less money allocation, but will still have access to the loans based on an agreement.
The terms of the already signed contracts do not change.
Concerning the potential agreement with EIB, there are two scenarios:
either the UK remains shareholder (Now the UK is a 16,1 % shareholder meaning that €39.2 billion locked up in the institution) which needs to be approved by the UK and by the other 27 Member States,
or the UK withdraws from the Bank which means that it would have to negotiate with shareholders about the continuation of financing.
According to the published Draft position papers of the European Commission on Article 50 negotiations and the financial settlement (June 2017), the first scenario is likely to happen and the Commission has also clearly stated that the United Kingdom should cease being a member of the EIB.The UK’s ‘liability resulting from the guarantee for the financing made by the EIB while the United Kingdom was a Member State should be maintained and decreased in line with the amortisation of the EIB portfolio outstanding at the time of United Kingdom withdrawal’.
Overall, both scenarios are quite problematic for our sector due to the potential long uncertainty.
A. Remaining shareholder
Decided likely at the end of the Brexit process
Long uncertainty still impacts the sector | ‘EIB is committed to doing business in the UK’- President of EIB, Jan 2017
Full access to funding before and after Brexit
Only possible if EIB changes statute – This would need approval from the UK and the other EU27
Share would remain but decreased proportionally
B. Withdrawing from the Bank
Would be discussed at the end of the Brexit process. Problematic due to uncertainty
All of the existing projects will be honoured, including those signed until 2019 that the UK is a member. | Difficult legal challenges when finalising contracts which potentially run until 2050’-President of EIB, Oct 2017
After withdrawing completely: UK can continue to benefit without being a shareholder but the amount is likely to be much smaller | “…energy and transport infrastructure would be damaged by ejection from the EIB, as […] the bank would take a larger role in future in financing eurozone projects.” – President of EIB, Oct 2017
The UK would have to negotiate with shareholders – difficult process
Expensive (right to receive its share but also responsible to cover its portion of the bank’s debt)
The situation of the ESI Funds is the most problematic because housing providers use ERDF and ESF as an essential part of their budgets (5 Operational Programmes in the UK have foreseen allocation). Currently, the UK benefits of £10 billion of overall EU funding (3.1%) and the biggest support is allocated to Wales, Northern Ireland & North East England and South West England.
Until the leaving point (March 2019), UK is entitled to use ESI Funds, however, after 2020, the UK stops benefitting from it as it will not be a Member State anymore. Therefore, the great question is how the UK can replace these strategic investment tools in social infrastructure and in skills training? John Bachtler, Director of the European Policies Research Centre, Glasgow says (2017) that in order to continue this level of spending, UK should double the current domestic funding.
Concerning other programmes (such as H2020, AMIF, EasI), the UK can have access to them in case it stays in EEA, however, in this case, it should respectthe ‘aquis communautaire’ and pay a fee to access the EU economic area and funding programmes. The paid fee is used for different funds such as http://eeagrants.org/ (contribution from Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein).
PNB Housing Finance Limited said on Monday it has raised 100 million dollars (about Rs 690 crore) from International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, for on-lending to buyers in affordable housing projects.
The investment was made under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) automatic route in the revamped external commercial borrowings (ECBs) framework. India needs to build 1.1 crore homes in the affordable segment. At an average of 4.6 people per household, the 1.1 crore units gap implies that nearly five crore people do not have adequate housing.
“We express our gratitude to IFC for their continuous support and trust in the company’s operations and overall robustness,” said Sanjaya Gupta, Managing Director of PNB Housing Finance Ltd.
“The fully-hedged facility has come at a landed cost that is much lower than the domestic pricing for similar tenures. Raising of ECB under the present market environment and that too from a multilateral financial institution like the IFC demonstrates the strength of PNB HFL and the faith of the lending community in the sector,” he said in a statement.
“The line of credit will not only enhance the liquidity but will further balance our long-term asset liability management position as the facility is for five years,” Gupta said. This is the first ECB disbursement during the current financial year under the RBI automatic route. Several other ECB proposals are in the pipeline.
“The RBI has allowed us to borrow ECB up to 750 million dollars annually under the automatic route. Considering the strong fundamentals and inherent growth of the company, we are hopeful that in the coming months our company will further utilise the facility,” said Gupta.
Hemalata Mahalingam, Manager of Financial Institutions Group at IFC South Asia, said: “To support the Indian government’s vision of Housing for All by 2022, our country strategy places a strong emphasis on the affordable housing sector. Our partnership with PNB Housing Finance will help them further expand to smaller towns and cities and reach low-income customers with loans to buy homes and help raise their living standards.”
PNB Housing Finance is IFC’s long-standing client. IFC assisted the company in raising its first foreign exchange financing for on-lending to buyers of affordable housing. Later, IFC helped the company to issue the first green bond in India for financing construction of green buildings.
The company is a member of IFC’s Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium that brings together leading developers, financiers, and the government to support the ecosystem for construction of green homes.
A major developer is being asked to think again over plans to build 74 homes near Middlewich after councillors slammed a lack of affordable housing.
Cheshire East Council’s strategic planning board also wants to see if Seddon Construction should provide cash for schools and NHS services instead of £400,000 towards the Middlewich eastern bypass if it gets the go-ahead for the scheme off Warmingham Lane, in Moston.
The developer had proposed just eight affordable houses in the scheme, which would have completed the allocation set in CEC’s local plan for Glebe Farm and taken the total number of new houses along Warmingham Lane in Middlewich and Moston to 1,102.
CEC officers recommended the scheme for approval ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, and Jenny Friar, representing Seddon, urged the committee to agree – suggesting there were ‘clear economic, social and environmental benefits’ to it.
She added: “While viability concerns have influenced the mix of house types proposed on site, the proposed scheme provides a mix of house sizes that seeks to address local housing need as identified in the Moston neighbourhood plan.”
But Cllr David Nixon, chairman of Moston Parish Council, insisted the lack of financial contribution for health and education – and the failure to hit CEC’s own 30 per cent target for affordable housing – ‘cannot be justified’.
“This measly affordable housing will do nothing to enable couples to get onto the housing ladder,” he said.
“If viability can’t be achieved with contributions to education, health infrastructure and affordable housing, the view of Moston Parish Council is the developer should walk away.”
Cllr Nixon added that the Moston neighbourhood plan was disregarded by officers – suggesting the scheme went against its policies on design, housing mix and housing type.
Road safety along Warmingham Lane was also questioned by Cllr Mike Hunter, Labour member for Middlewich, who argued the access points to each new development on the road were too close – but officers insisted they were satisfied with the distances.
There had been requests for a £366,272 contribution from the developer towards education provision, as well as £76,896 for the NHS, £90,886 towards public open space and £13,000 for indoor sport and recreation facilities.
But Seddon argued this would not be viable alongside the bypass contribution and affordable housing target – and independent consultants Gerald Eve agreed with the builder’s assessment – leaving councillors concerned that CEC would have to pick up the cost for mitigating the scheme.
Cllr David Jefferay, Residents of Wilmslow, said: “If we are in a position where we have got a five-year [housing land] supply, we should be able to walk away if this is going to leave us with a big liability.”
His concerns were shared by Cllr Ashley Farrall, Labour, who felt the council should not allow its own 30 per cent affordable housing target to be ignored.
He added: “It just looks to me like this is some executive housing scheme just built for pure profit and not for the housing needs of this area.”
The MD/CEO of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Arch. Ahmed Dangiwa, has expressed the willingness of the bank to deepen its relationship with Shelter Afrique, as well as other housing-related institutions to improve cost reduction in housing delivery.
Arc. Dangiwa stated this while receiving the MD/CEO of Shelter Afrique, Andrew Chimphondah, and his team at the FMBN headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
Dangiwa said, “The bank has continued to provide affordable mortgages to Nigerian workers/contributors and construction finance for housing development.
Our National Housing Fund’s (NHF) individual mortgage loan, granted at six per cent, is the most affordable in the country.
“I would crave your indulgence for us to jointly revisit the MoU signed in January, 2017, by which Shelter Afrique was to invest $2bn over the next decade at $200m annually as credit for construction finance to Nigerian real estate developers. FMBN’s role was to provide mortgage loans under its NHF.”
The MD/CEO of Shelter Afrique, Andrew Chimphondah, said he was excited to hear that FMBN was the only institution focused on reducing interest of mortgage to single digit. Chimphondah said, “When you say six per cent digit, its resonates with us at Shelter Afrique, and it means we share same mandate, vision and conviction to play leading role that Africans have access to decent and affordable housing.”
Plans to build more than 800 homes in north-west London have been approved by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, after he took control of the decision from the local council.
The redevelopment of disused Pentavia Retail Park in Mill Hill were rejected by Barnet Council in July 2018 because members of its planning committee felt the scheme was an over-development of the site and would not provide enough affordable housing.
But Mr Khan “called in” the plans in November and has since approved them with an increased level of affordable homes.
Mr Khan said: “This is classic example of an underused site with the potential to deliver significant numbers of homes”.
The Federal Government social housing scheme, Family Homes Funds siezed the stage at the 13th Abuja International Housing Show on Wednesday to share what they have achieved so far.
This year’s theme of the show focuses on driving sustainable housing finance models in the midst of global uncertainty, and a lot of speakers shared their thoughts about the best models and what how they are contributing to housing development in their respective capacities.
Speaking through a representative, the CEO of Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole said that the Fund is here to address the very low home ownership problem in Nigeria; to tackle the low percentage of mortgage and to provide jobs.
“So far, we have completed 1000 homes, and about 3000 at different stages of development. We have so far created about 14000 jobs. We have over 500 completed units in Nasarawa, 750 in Kano, 650 in Delta and more all over the country. For us, we believe that it is not enough to supply houses without taking care of the demand side. That is where we come in,” he said.
The Falls Church City Council aims to revamp its approach to affordable housing as its population continues to grow — and the stock of affordable units quickly dwindles.
The City Council is considering refreshing its Comprehensive Plan’s housing guidelines with a focus on tackling what some councilmembers recently referred to as an “affordable housing crisis.”
Emphasis on Affordable Housing
At a joint work session on Monday (July 15), the council and the city’s Planning Commission reviewed a proposal that would revise the housing guidelines to adjust for demographic changes and the future impact of Amazon HQ2 on the region.
City documents at the meeting confirmed that the increasing demand for apartments cannot keep up with the influx of the population, which is growing at a rate of 2.6% each year.
Councilmember Letty Hardi fronted the discussion at the meeting when she brought up the expiration of affordable housing and the dilemmas facing recent graduates who can no longer afford to live in the area.
Affordable housing hasn’t seen a large overhaul in Falls Church since the council implemented the Affordable Dwelling Units (ADU) in 2002.
Currently, the city can negotiate with developers for more than the 6% of new condos and apartments required be ADUs, according to the city’s Housing and Human Services Department.
“You can’t build it fast enough in this reality. At 6% we are never going to make up this number,” Hardi said.
She added that the clock is running out on the Fields of Falls Church, the city’s largest affordable housing complex in the area. Its affordable rental homes are set to expire in 2026, and as of July, the complex had 96 units.
“That should be a big wakeup call for us,” Hardi said in reference to the upcoming expiration of other ADU units across Falls Church, which the draft guidelines reveal new data about.
In 2012, there were 25 homeownership AUDs in Falls Church, according to the guidelines. Upcoming in 2021, this number may drop even further to 13 homes unless the city extends the contract with the Byron Complex.
Meanwhile, for affordable rental homes, seven of the nine buildings, which include Fields, Pearson Square, Read Building and West Broad Residences, are set to expire at various times before or in 2035.
Tentative Goals for the Housing Plan
As of the Monday meeting, the council narrowed its key housing goals to a list of nine focus points for the proposed guidelines and a newly revised mission statement:
Create and maintain a diverse supply of housing that supports an inclusive and welcoming community. As the region continues to grow, work proactively to ensure affordable housing keeps pace with population increases and is available for a range of incomes, household sizes, generations, and needs.
The top implementation goals include the preservation of tree canopies in the area and creating a variety of housing types, which could lead the area to see the construction of one, two and three-bedroom condos and family homes.
Roughly 90 respondents — mostly Falls Church residents — of a housing surgery earlier this year picked their top three of the nine proposed goals:
58% support “incentivizing more workforce, moderate, and low-income housing”
44% support “aging in place”
43% support “[reviewing] development regulations to allow a wider variety of housing types”
Other proposed goals in the plan also include seeking help and partnerships from non-profits, agencies and neighboring districts and providing housing for people with disabilities.
The Planning Commission is slated to hold a public hearing on Aug. 5, before the council holds its hearing on Aug. 12.
Persisting Concerns Around Affordable Housing
While several councilmembers said that plan is a step in the right direction, they pointed to other factors that could greatly impact affordable housing in the city, like raising the 6% rule and offering more small condominiums.
“Six percent is good,” Councilmember Phil Duncan said. “It’s just going to not get us there in any shape or form.”
Duncan also pushed for more affordable condos in the city. “We’re not going to make significant progress until we try to find some opportunities in the city [that],” he said.
Councilmember David Snyder chimed in, adding that he wants to see more opportunities for people to buy homes — especially condos.
“We can talk about affordable, subsidized if you will, rental housing, but you really aren’t going to get people out of the cycle of poverty,” Snyder said, adding that home ownership is “traditionally how much of the wealth in this country has been created and denied.”
Councilmember Ross Litkenhous also expressed support for smaller condos, however, he noted that the city is constrained by its size and available space. “We are 2.2 square miles,” he said. “We need to be honest with ourselves to effectively accomplish this.”
In addition, Litkenhous said the city is also bracing for a wave of new residents once Amazon arrives in neighboring Arlington.
A recent report by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors and the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis estimated that roughly 33% of Amazon’s workforce will live in Fairfax County — more than double the 16.4% expected to live in Arlington.
Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, expressed the archdiocese’s commitment to providing affordable housing at a press conference updating the progress of Second Farms, a 319-unit, low- and moderate-income building in the West Farms section of the Bronx scheduled to open next year.
The event was held at the Second Farms construction site July 12.
“Second Farms is an important part of our commitment to building affordable housing for New Yorkers,” said Msgr. Sullivan in a statement. “We have over 1,000 new units planned for the next five years and have renovated and preserved another 2,000 units to ensure that New York remains an affordable place for working families and low-income New Yorkers.
“This is our commitment to ensuring a basic human right—a roof over every family’s head.”
In April, an official opening and dedication was held for the 112-unit, 12-story St. Augustine Terrace in the Bronx. At that time, Catholic Homes New York announced the development of 2,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years.
Catholic Homes New York, a division of Catholic Charities that develops affordable housing for families and seniors in the archdiocese, oversees 2,336 affordable-housing units at 15 sites in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and Yonkers.
Second Farms is one of the affordable-housing projects being undertaken to help the archdiocese meet its goals. The St. Vincent de Paul Senior Residence, which will have 89 units, is scheduled to open in December in the Bronx. Construction has not started on two other projects—St. Philip Neri in the Bronx and Clinton Broome in Manhattan.
Second Farms is expected to open in September 2020. Financing for the project came from tax-exempt bonds from the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), low-income housing tax credits, a subsidy from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and city capital funding provided by City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Salamanca said 60 percent of the building’s units are slated for families earning between 27 and 57 percent of the area’s median income. The remaining units will be for the formerly homeless and families with incomes at 80 percent of the area’s median income.
Salamanca and Diaz joined Msgr. Sullivan at the press conference, as did Louise Carroll, commissioner of HPD; Molly Park, deputy commissioner of development for HPD; and James McSpiritt, CEO of Catholic Homes New York.
“I’m excited to celebrate the progress we have made on delivering 319 units of low-income family housing here at Second Farms,” McSpirit said. “With our partners in government and the private sector, Catholic Homes New York looks forward to producing hundreds of homes for low-income New Yorkers over the next few years.”
A study conducted as part of a lawsuit in the City of New York found part of its affordable housing policy might deepen segregation. But policy advocates say that it can also prevent displacement borne from gentrification.
We look at the balancing act when it comes to affordable housing across the country.
“The report was finally released on Monday, following a federal court ruling, and its findings were stark: The city’s policy of giving preference to local residents for new affordable housing helps perpetuate racial segregation.
“White neighborhoods stay white, black neighborhoods black, the report found.
“The findings by Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College, presented a far different picture than the one offered by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has touted his record on housing as he runs for president.
“Indeed, they suggested that Mr. de Blasio’s vast expansion of affordable housing might well come with an asterisk: It is deepening entrenched racial housing patterns.”
“The City’s affordable housing projects overwhelmingly serve people of color, even in majority white areas. African Americans and Hispanics are awarded affordable housing through the City’s housing lottery in disproportionate numbers in their favor compared to their representation among New Yorker City residents with incomes would make them eligible for the City’s affordable housing lotteries. (See Appendix F.) Dr. Beveridge ignored this obvious analysis, choosing instead to conduct unnecessarily complicated tests that fail to actually measure what he purports to measure.”
NPR: “How ‘Equal Access’ Is Helping Drive Black Renters Out Of Their Neighborhood” — “The city of San Francisco is in a quandary. Like many big cities, it faces an affordability crisis, and city leaders are looking for a way to build housing to help low- and middle-income residents stay there.
“But one proposal to give current residents of a historically African-American neighborhood help to do that has run afoul of the Obama administration.
“Consider the case of Mack Watson. At 96, he is a vision of elegance in his freshly pressed ribbon collar shirt, vest and sports coat. He has called San Francisco home since 1947.
“‘Nothing is like San Francisco. Like the song, I lost my heart in San Francisco,’ he says minutes after finishing lunch at the Western Addition Senior Center on a recent day.
“But Watson lost more than his heart in San Francisco. He is among thousands of black San Franciscans who are being displaced by gentrification. He can still recall when this neighborhood, the Western Addition, was a hub of African-American life.
“‘The mom and pop businesses. They’re all gone. Nightclubs and restaurants, all that stuff. Theaters. They all gone,’ says Watson.”
New York Daily News: “Perpetuating a segregated city: Affordable housing lotteries wind up excluding many low-income black and Latino New Yorkers” — “It’s been more than two years since a little-noticed lawsuit against the de Blasio administration put a spotlight on New York’s longstanding, misguided habit of allocating affordable housing in ways that keep our neighborhoods racially segregated.
“The mayor should fix the problem pronto.
“The case of Winfield vs. City of New York was brought in 2015 by black families seeking affordable housing in Manhattan. They sued to end city’s policy of giving strong preference for scarce units to applicants currently living within a particular community board where new units are being built.
“Politicians and activists take as gospel the idea that people living somewhere near a new building with affordable housing should get first crack at moving into it. For local politicians, it’s an easy sell.”
Law Street Media: “Equal Access?: Neighborhood Preference and Housing Lotteries” — “Affordable, safe housing is a huge concern for all populations. Traditionally, neighborhoods have been segregated along socioeconomic lines. However, even in modern cities, policy attempts to integrate communities through equal access housing have failed. Housing lotteries, through neighborhood preference programs, are now being employed by cities across the country to keep families in their neighborhoods.
“Unfortunately, those same lotteries are meeting a pushback from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has stated that neighborhood preference and housing lotteries violate federal fair housing laws. In an interesting turn of events, the populations that fair housing laws are designed to protect are now being utilized to keep them out of their home neighborhoods.
This comes as a surprise to many supporters of these anti-displacement programs, as the legislation was created to assist victims of segregation, not perpetuate it.”
“City supervisors created the Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference plan in late 2015. It requires 40 percent of units in new affordable housing developments funded by the city and private sources to be reserved for people living in the supervisorial district where the projects are built or within a half-mile of them.”