NIGERIA HOUSING SECTOR AND THE NEED FOR SYNERGY

Nigeria is dealing with a housing deficit of over 17 million — one of the worst case scenarios in the world. The perennial problem it seems, has defied every solution.

But the organisers of Abuja International Housing Show do not believe that there is no solution. They believe that one of the greatest ways to unlock the solutions to affordable and abundant housing in Nigeria is through wide-sector collaboration of stakeholders.

An observable pattern over the years is that most professionals have been caught in a clash of interests which has not helped the sector grow at the desired pace.

Why AIHS is Leading the Call For Synergy

The Abuja International Housing Show is leading the call for industry synergy because of its neutrality. The call is from a place of independent observation. The Show is primarily concerned with what is best for the housing sector and always willing to point them out without fears or favour.

The Abuja International Housing Show is also able to make this call because of its relationship with industry professionals over the years and it can tell what area needs more improvement. And that is the area of synergy.

The Show’s organisers are speaking from a place of experience given how long they have been committed to relentless promotion of the sector’s needs, policies and projects with enormous resources through their housing development programs on various TV, Radio and other advocacy platforms.

“AIHS is seeking collaboration of every stakeholder to solve house home ownership.This is no longer time for solo business. All hands must now be on deck to solve these problems,” said Festus Adebayo, the Show’s chief organiser.

Next Level Synergy

While the government has set for itself a Next Level vision for the next 4 years, AIHS has also tasked industry professionals to set for themselves a Next Level vision in housing without relying on the government.

To achieve the kind of results needed to bridge the huge housing gap in Nigeria, there is need for industry professionals to come up with their own agenda which can also be a blueprint for even those in the government.

The Next Level vision is according to Adebayo most likely without “totally relying on what government can do but what we can make government to do through our collaboration.”

AIHS believes that it is important for stakeholders to begin to rally round each other and share their best ideas, experiences and expertise to create a Next Level vision and mission for addressing the critical problems in the housing sector.

The AIHS is also calling for an inclusive National Council on Housing, where all stakeholders are represented and carried along in the big project of providing more affordable and good quality homes in Nigeria.

The AIHS is set for 23rd to 26th July this year. It will be an all inclusive platform for stakeholders and professionals to present their best ideas on how to move from advocacy to action.

The well attended Show is the biggest gathering of national and international stakeholders in the industry. It is widely endorsed as the number one place in the continent for networking, exhibition and making of sales.

This year’s edition will host over 40, 000 participants, 400+ exhibitors and over 30 international speakers and CEOs.

The show will be declared open by the Vice President of Nigeria and has the partnership of all leading brands in the Nigerian housing and construction industry.

By Ojonugbwa Felix Ugboja

IFC Provides US$75 Million to Republic Bank to Promote Affordable Housing in Trinidad and Tobago

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 29, 2019—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, approved a loan to Republic Bank for US$75 million to help address Trinidad and Tobago’s affordable housing deficit. IFC’s funding will support Republic Bank’s strategic plans to increase exposure to residential mortgages from 20 percent of its total loan portfolio to 25 percent, helping thousands of middle-income families become homeowners.

The investment consists of a seven-year subordinated loan to grow the bank’s mortgage portfolio of middle-income borrowers. Additionally, the subordinated debt will qualify as Tier II capital under local regulations, hence strengthening Republic Bank’s capital base. As part of the transaction, IFC is offering technical assistance in key areas such as reporting, monitoring and risk management of the residential mortgage portfolio.

“Owning a home is a dream for many families and Republic Bank continues to look at innovative ways to provide affordable housing in Trinidad and Tobago as this partnership with IFC demonstrates,” said Nigel Baptiste, Managing Director of Republic Bank Limited. Mr. Baptiste also added that the confidence shown in Republic Bank by IFC in providing Tier II capital to further strengthen the bank’s already robust capital level comes at an opportune time as the Republic Group is embarking on a wider expansion in the region.

he investment is also well aligned with wider efforts to close Trinidad and Tobago’s affordable housing gap which is estimated at more than 100,000 units, in a population of less than 1.4 million people. The bank’s partnership with IFC is expected to improve the country’s relatively low mortgage finance penetration rate, which is one of the most critical factors contributing to the housing gap.

The initiative also supports the government’s efforts to manage its subsidised housing costs.  Housing development—as part of the construction sector—is key for job creation. However, one of the largest expenditures incurred by the country is the sale of subsidised housing. To reduce these expenditures, the government is adopting new incentives such as land grants, tax exemptions and cash bonuses to developers who build homes for lower income families.

“The private sector has a key role in providing financing for affordable housing, especially in the tightening fiscal context of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Luc Grillet, IFC senior manager for Central America and the Caribbean. “Private financing for affordable housing saves public resources and benefits families and the economy as a whole—long after the homes are built and occupied, the ripple effect from residents support jobs in a wide array of industries, including retail, healthcare and hospitality.”

Source: By Matias Obludzyner, IFC

Committees to harness new housing cooperatives’ potentials underway–Experts

Abuja, May 3, 2019 (NAN) Participants at the cooperative housing workshop have resolved to set up two committees to harness the potential of the proposed Cooperative Housing Federation of Nigeria (CHFN).

The just concluded two-day workshop was organised by Nigeria Integrated Social Housing (NISH) Affordable Housing Ltd., in collaboration with Family Homes Funds (FHF) from May 2 to May 3 in Abuja.

The workshop had earlier called for the establishment of Cooperative Housing Federation of Nigeria (CHFN), Cooperative Housing Fund (CHF) and Cooperative Housing Information System (CHIS) to improve off-takers’ chances of owing affordable housing at minimal cost.

Mr Benson Iyohmere, former Managing Director, Police Mortgage Bank, explained that the first committee would handle the formation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that would harness the potential of the Housing Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (HCFN).

Iyohmere said that the second committee would look into cooperatives housing savings schemes which would tackle issues regarding how to build savings for the new body.

“It will strengthen the cooperatives and give them a voice that they can use to channel their expectations and achieve their dreams as well.

“The committees will be inaugurated in the course of the quarterly workshop so that their interim reports would be submitted.’’

The Managing Director of Family Homes Fund, Mr Femi Adewole, also said that capital for the new HCFN could be raised through voluntary contributions of members of the new cooperative.

He called for a market-driven strategy to develop capacity of the cooperative, including promotion of adverts and mobilisation of people to participate including at the grassroots.

Dr Chi Akporji, former Director, Strategy, Policy Development, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), also endorsed the proposed cooperative and appreciated the high turnout of different cooperative members at the workshop.

“We cannot talk about affordable housing without recognising the critical role cooperatives play in that space.
“They represent the grassroots and the off-takers of the affordable housing that we are talking about.’’

She observed how powerful and effective the cooperatives were in East African countries, particularly Kenya where cooperatives could determine elections outcome.

Akporji, however, commended the convener of the workshop on its effort and the tentative steps being taken to address the perrenial housing problem.

The workshop, with the theme “Financing Affordable Housing Through Cooperatives” had in attendance executive members of housing cooperatives, off-takers, developers and finance experts among others.

Source: News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN)

Affordable Housing: Family Homes Funds, NISH Inaugurate Cooperatives Committees

NISH Affordable Housing Limited and Family Homes Funds have inaugurated 2 technical committees that will look into the problems faced by cooperatives in Nigeria, especially access to funding.

This was announced by the organisations at the first edition of their quarterly workshop on cooperative housing in Nigeria at the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre, Abuja, from 2nd to 3rd May 2019.

The technical committees are: (1) Saving Schemes Committee and (2) Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Committee on Cooperatives.

According to the MD/CEO of Nish Affordable Housing, S K Yemi Adelakun, at the end of the 2-day successful workshop on cooperative housing, the participating stakeholders decided to inaugurate 2 technical committees that will help bring about solutions to some of the challenges that were identified in the workshop.

‘’There are two technical committees. The Saving Schemes Committee will in addition to some of what we have agreed on in this workshop go ahead to study more on how cooperatives can through self-help raise funds through saving schemes.

‘’The second committee which is the Special Purpose Vehicle will dwell more on how to bring about the conglomeration of existing cooperatives in Nigeria, establish them under a single but collective platform which will further help their cause. Even Nish is a part of cooperatives that will join-in under that body for the sake of harmony and collective results because no one can do it alone,’’ he said.

On the objectives of the 2-day workshop which are to organise, empower, and acquaint cooperative leaders with Innovative Cooperative Housing Principles and sensitise them on how to aggregate members’ equity contributions through savings scheme towards effective and sustainable delivery of affordable housing to Cooperators, and to also strengthen the governance capacity, transparency and accountability of housing Cooperatives through information and communications technology, Adelakun expressed his satisfaction with what has been achieved and the commitment shown by the cooperatives.

He also enjoined other cooperatives to key into the initiative because the task of bringing about affordable housing in Nigeria is clearly beyond the government.

Also adding his voice, the MD/CEO of Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole said that the expectations for organising the workshop were not only achieved but even surpassed.

‘’Like we have said, the purpose is to rally everyone together and look at what we can do on our own. The cooperatives have a lot of role to play in affordable housing in Nigeria and this workshop, which is going to be quarterly has already increased that realisation, which is a fulfilment of our purpose,’’ he added excitedly.

By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja

Hundreds Gather in Richmond Demanding More Affordable Housing

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – There was a massive response Thursday night to Richmond’s ranking of being one of the worst cities in the nation for kicking people out of their homes.

 

Hundreds of people gathered on the Northside pledging to hold city leaders accountable in their goal of reducing the city’s staggering eviction rates. After reports of Richmond being second in the nation for evictions surfaced, Mayor Levar Stoney vowed to take action.

 

Many are applauding that move, but they say it can’t stop there.

 

Heather Brannon has a heart for people and is weeks away from graduating from seminary to one day become a pastor.

“It’s a vital part of my call,” Brannon said.

While studying here, she mentored students in Richmond’s public housing complexes and said one family stands out in her mind.

“The mother was dying from cancer. The daughter had dropped out of high school to help pay the bills, and obviously it didn’t pay off,” Brannon said.

They were kicked out of the very place people turn when they need affordable housing, forcing them to the unexpected.

“(They) lived in their old 96 Toyota Corolla parked behind an abandoned building,” Brannon said.

 

It’s stories like these that compelled hundreds of people to rally together Thursday to demand Richmond do more. It’s part of the Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities’ Nehemiah Action Assembly. People from churches across the city – all backgrounds – united in their plea.

“Women and children. Kids who can’t get to school. They’ve got to go live somewhere else. All of your stuff on the street? How would you feel about that?” Dorothy Hollahan asked.

City leaders were on hand saying they agree. Stoney has proposed $485,000 for an Eviction Diversion Program and $2.9 million for an affordable housing trust fund.

Those in attendance couldn’t be more excited, but their goal now is to make sure those promises come to fruition.

“So we keep them accountable,” Hollahan said.

“We need to continue fighting for those whose voices are being silenced in our community. This is only the beginning,” Brannon said.

Both realize this is a fight for all people.

“It’s the working poor. They’re on the edge. Their car breaks down. You can’t get to work. You miss hours. You have a healthcare crisis. You’re living on the edge, and housing is the first to go,” Hollahan said.

 

The group also focused on improving Richmond’s schools, pointing out that last year nearly half of all third-graders failed reading. An RPS representative told the crowd they’re willing to work with those who showed up, creating a community collaboration to help Richmond rise.

By Brent Solomon

 

Family homes funds set to boost cooperative housing market -MD

Abuja, May 2, 2019 (NAN) The Managing Director of Family Homes Fund, Mr Femi Adewole has said that the programme was set to boost cooperative housing through its rolled out funds.

Adewole made this known at a cooperative housing workshop organised by the Nigeria Integrated Social Housing (NISH), Affordable Housing Ltd in collaboration with Family Homes Funds, on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Family Homes Funds is a Social Housing Programme initiated by the Federal Government to provide inexpensive mortgages for low-income individuals and families across the country.

Under the Family Home Fund scheme, which is domiciled in the Ministry of Finance, civil servants who earn salary of 30,000 and above can have access to mortgages to own a home.

Adewole said that Family Homes Funds which was a special purpose vehicle for financial institutions was primarily to facilitate the production of about 500, 000 homes and over 1.5 million job creation.

“It is a very new fund and has been running effectively in the past nine months.

He said that the programme had four pillars of funds to achieve home ownership namely Affordable Housing Fund, Home Loans Assistance Funds, Rental Housing Fund and Land and Infrastructure Fund.

He said that the objectives of cooperative housing could be achieved by developing capabilities of the market with workshops to identify support for capacity base for set of cooperatives with set goals.

According to him, cooperatives in an organised sector can be transformational enablers of affordable housing delivery particularly to people on low and middle income.

“We can also achieve our objectives by identifying the capacity gaps that hinders cooperatives from playing central role in affordable housing delivery then strive to bridge them.

Adewole said that Nigeria could replicate what other housing cooperatives in other parts of the world were doing adding that Urban Housing Cooperative in India owned about 4.5 million homes between them over the last 10 years

We must make the cooperatives very strong vehicles for reliable and affordable housing delivery in the country.

He further said that there were about 2,600 Housing Cooperatives in Pakistan with inception since 1972 produced about 27 million homes strong membership while there were 5,700 housing cooperatives in Zimbabwe of with significant number of members as women.

According to him, the housing cooperative is only responsible for almost 80 per cent of housing delivery in Zimbabwe

Speaking on the consistent failure in meeting the housing needs target, he said that any housing policy before the Shagari 1979 housing policy has failed to deliver anything more than10 per cent of the intended policy.
Mr Benson Iyohmere, Former Managing Director, Police Mortgage Bank in an address also underscored the role of cooperatives in affordable housing delivery.
Iyohmere said that since government could not adequately provide direct housing to people in need of shelter, cooperative housing should be the alternative means.
He said that one of the reasons why Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) could not reach out to many workers was because of non-remittance of the National Housing Fund (NHF) contributions by some employers.

Iyohmere added that FMBN was presently dwelling on Cooperative Development Loan and had seized dwelling on Estate Development Loan due to defaulters.

According to him, Nigerians should come together to pool resources through cooperative means to achieve affordable housing.

He listed some challenges of housing cooperatives in housing delivery as low income, high interest rate, lack of access to land and government mortgage documentation requirement.

He further said that dearth of long-term funding and high cost of land titling and acquisition including government consent hindered development adding that without these there would be no development.

“These are major issues that affect construction and governments need to make the process seamless for development by developers. For every mortgage documentation there must also be an underwriting standard.

Iyohmere however listed key cooperative principles which Family Home Funds would use to appraise request of cooperative societies.

He listed the seven key principles as voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, coperation among cooperatives and a concern for community.

Dr Peter Kuroshi, Registrar, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) decried the challenges hindering housing delivery in the country hence underscored the need for regulation in the sector.

Kuroshi said that apart from affordability quality and standardisation should be encouraged in housing construction value chain.
“Most cooperatives are committed to housing projects not knowing precisely what it entails in terms of standardisation in building process and cooperative profit management,’’ he said.
“After procuring, you will incur cost to get them to the level you will be satisfied with. Get involve in project inspection too in order to get the value of your money.

Source: By Emmanuella Anokam New Agnecy of Nigeria (NAN)

Affordable houses: NISH seeks establishment of Cooperative Housing Federation of Nigeria

The organisation also called for the establishment of Cooperative Housing Fund (CHF) and Cooperative Housing Information System (CHIS).

Mr S.K Yemi Adelakun, Managing Director, NISH Affordable Housing Ltd., made the call at the opening of a 2-day cooperative housing workshop organised by NISH in collaboration with Family Homes Funds, on Thursday in Abuja.

Adelakun said that the CHF would unite off-takers aggregate savings and equity contributions to improve their collective chances of renting or owning affordable houses at minimal costs and to actively invest in various housing value chains.

According to him, Cooperative housing should afford off-takers a better negotiating platform with other stakeholders.

“Housing cooperatives in other countries like Kenya play the role of developers, financiers, guarantors, bankers, asset aggregators and managers.

‘‘They are able to attract domestic and international donors and equity funds due to the volume of savings from members,’’ he said..

He explained that cooperative housing would also facilitate procurement of bankable off-takers guarantees required to attract to Nigeria global construction companies with technologies and finance for large scale and cost effective housing delivery.

The managing director explained that the workshop was designed to preach the gospel of synergy in togetherness and to encourage formation of cooperative housing association across the country which would culminate in formation of CHFN.

‘‘The workshop will be made a quarterly event and at the end of this 2-day workshop we will hopefully set in motion action plans towards establishing Cooperative Housing Fund (CHF) and Cooperative Housing Information System (CHIS).’’

He urged the Federal Director of Cooperatives to help in facilitating the registration of cooperative housing associations across the country and particularly the proposed CHFN.

‘‘We count on our partnering banks to initiate financial products or instruments in support of these initiatives; we also count on GIZ and Africa Development Bank for technical support.

‘‘This will enhance governance of these cooperative housing organisations especially in the area of data management,’’ he said.

He stated that for Nigeria to achieve sustainable delivery of affordable houses, housing off-takers financing must be at single digit interest rate.

Adelakun commended the government and its agencies like the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Family Homes Funds and Federal Government Staff Housing Board, which offered six, five and three per cent interest rates respectively.

He observed that these institutions were limited in their capacities to finance construction of affordable houses, given the existing level of housing deficit such that only few Nigerians could qualify and secure mortgages through them.

‘‘While one may be hoping for enhanced capitalisation in the future and special intervention Fund by government, off-takers must engage in self help through innovative principles of cooperative housing,’’ he stressed.

In his address, Alhaji Sani Idris, Federal Director of Cooperatives, praised the idea of the cooperative housing approach.

He said the initiatives involving viable cooperatives were sustainable because the institutions were owned by person whose vested interest initiated their creation.

Represented by Amano Emal of the Federal Department of Cooperatives, Idris said registered cooperatives should be treated as competent entities that are able to take decisions on any matters concerning them as autonomous legal persons.

‘‘It is the choice of the cooperatives to decide the mode of its operations, and this is documented in their Bye-Laws registered along with their names by the Director of Cooperatives, who is the statutory Registrar of cooperatives at the appropriate jurisdiction.’’

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop with the theme: ‘‘Financing Affordable Housing Through Cooperatives,’’ had in attendance executive members of housing cooperatives, off-takers, developers and finance experts among others.

Source: News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN)

Modular housing firm chosen for £40m homelessness scheme

Construction Manager reports manufacturer Extraspace Solutions has won a £40m contract to provide modular homes to a not-for-profit company set up by a group of London boroughs to provide high-quality accommodation for homeless Londoners.

Extraspace Solutions will design and manufacture modular housing units for PLACE (Pan-London Accommodation Collaborative Enterprise), which will have the quality of permanent housing but can be relocated to a different site when required. London boroughs will use the units as temporary accommodation for homeless families.

Under the contract, Extraspace will supply 200 homes by 2021.

PLACE, which was established by the boroughs with £11m of funding from the Mayor of London, is a collaborative venture aiming to improve the availability of high-quality temporary accommodation options in the capital. It was set up in response to growing rates of homelessness in the capital, where there are currently 54,000 households living in temporary accommodation.

PLACE’s modular housing units will be placed on vacant ‘meanwhile’ sites earmarked for development in the long term, but which would otherwise remain underused over the short-to-medium term.

Several boroughs are looking into suitable locations for PLACE accommodation and it is expected that the first site will be confirmed later this year.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive member for housing and planning, said: “The capital faces a worsening housing crisis. In response, the boroughs are joining forces to procure modular housing to use as temporary accommodation. PLACE will deliver high-quality, family-sized accommodation for homeless Londoners in their local borough – close to their schools, jobs, and support networks – and delivering new housing on previously unusable sites in the process.

“This is the first time UK local authorities have jointly procured modular housing for this purpose and it shows London government’s determination to create better housing outcomes for homeless families.”

Eleanor Moloney, Extraspace Solutions lead designer, said: “We are thrilled to be helping to deliver this exciting initiative, showcasing modern modular solutions in the residential market. This scheme will combine innovative design with a community feel. Our precision-manufactured modular houses will deliver the quality of permanent homes, meeting the London Plan’s space standards, and can be relocated to the site of most need.”

James Murray, London’s deputy mayor for housing and residential development, said: “The rise in homelessness in recent years is a national disgrace. Government cuts mean London’s councils are too often left with little choice other than to offer homeless families expensive housing far from their local area.”

Source: Global Construction Review

Affordable Housing: Family Homes Funds List Requirements for Cooperatives

As stakeholders in the Nigerian housing sector are beginning to recognise and canvas for the active participation of cooperatives in order to bridge the gap between demand and supply of housing, the MD/CEO of Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole have listed 4 key requirements that must be met by any cooperative that wants to engage in these process with other stakeholders.

While speaking with Housing News today at the Cooperative Housing workshop organised in partnership with NISH Affordable Housing Limited, Mr Adewole listed the 4 key requirement.

‘’First, They need to have a very strong corporate governance. This is critical for gaining trust among their own members; gaining trust from external parties and also running in a sustainable way.

‘’Second, they must have a very strong and solid engagement with their members. That is, it must be a cooperative not only on paper, but in the true sense of the word. They must have co-operators who are engaged in the mutual effort of supporting each other to access affordable housing

‘’Third, they must have a very clear and articulated strategy about what they want to do. There are different types of housing cooperatives and I think they need to be clear which of them they are because it makes it easier for them to operate in an effective way.

‘’Fourth, partly outside of the cooperatives, and that is ensuring that there is a good regulatory framework for the cooperatives to ensure that they operate within a set of rules, policies and procedures that guides what they can do and what they can’t,’’ he said.

The 2-day workshop which was attended by cooperatives from across the country was the first of a quarterly workshop program that will rally ideas on how to bridge the gap between housing supply and demand in Nigeria.

By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja

 NISH, Family Homes Funds Reveal How to Address Challenges of Affordable Housing in Nigeria

NISH Affordable Housing Limited and Family Homes Funds have convened the first edition of their quarterly workshop on cooperative housing in Nigeria.

The event which took place today at the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre in Abuja was well attended by representatives of a number of cooperatives in housing from across the country.

According to the MD/CEO of NISH, S K Yemi Adelakun, the theme of this first edition is, ‘’Financing Affordable Housing through Cooperatives.’’

Speaking further, Adelakun mentioned the major challenges of affordable housing in Nigeria and how to solve them.

‘’There are many challenges inhibiting delivery of affordable housing in Nigeria and six most critical success factors are land, technology, expert knowledge and skilled manpower, building materials, infrastructure and finance. Various housing stakeholders have individual and collective roles to play in surmounting these challenges and turning the challenges to opportunities.

‘’The most critical and most elusive success factor that affects all other factors mentioned earlier and that is inhibiting delivery of housing in Nigeria is finance and that is the main focus of today’s workshop theme which is financing Affordable Housing through Cooperatives. We need finance to buy land, technologies, building Materials, infrastructure and pay workers and professionals. We also need finance to buy or rent completed houses.

‘’Finance is in short supply and very costly. We need both construction and mortgage finance. The approach so far is to provide construction finance without making adequate provision for offtakers’ finance for buying the completed houses from developers. This is why we have so many houses in locations nobody wants to live and at prices nobody can afford.

‘’Effective Demand driven approach may provide solutions to the intractable problem of delivering affordable housing. We need to know the needs and affordability and funding sources of offtakers before commencing construction. By financing offtakers, we are indirectly financing the developers. This approach will encourage developers to be competitive in price, quality and speedy delivery of affordable housing on a large scale.

‘’For sustainability, housing offtakers financing must be at single digit interest rate if we are to achieve sustainable delivery of affordable housing.

‘’Efforts of government and its agencies like the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Family Homes Fund and Federal Government Staff Housing Board offering 6%, 5% and 3% interest rates respectively are appreciated. It is however clear that these institutions are limited in their capacity to finance affordable housing given the existing level of housing deficit such that only a small percentage of Nigerians can qualify and secure mortgages through these institutions.

‘’Besides, the focus of these agencies had been to fund developers instead of offtakers. While one may be hoping for enhanced capitalization in the future and special intervention fund by government, offtakers must engage in self-help through innovative principles of Cooperative Housing. This is why this Cooperative Housing workshop is designed to preach the gospel of synergy in togetherness and to encourage formation of cooperative housing association across the country which will culminate in formation of cooperative housing federation of Nigeria.

‘’The goal is to unite Offtakers and aggregate savings and equity contributions to improve their collective chances of renting or owning affordable housing at minimal cost and to actively participate and invest in the various housing value chains. Cooperative Housing should afford offtakers a better negotiating platform with other stakeholders. Housing

‘’Cooperatives in other countries like Kenya play the role of developers, financiers, guarantors, bankers, asset aggregators and managers. They are able to attract domestic and international donor and equity funds due to the volume of savings from members.

‘’Cooperative Housing will also facilitate procurement of bankable offtakers guarantees required to attract, to Nigeria, global construction companies with proprietary technologies and finance for large scale, speedy and cost effective and efficient delivery of affordable housing. Offtakers guarantees will also eliminate sad experience of some offtakers who made payment to developers and were unable to either get their houses or retrieve their payments,’’ he said.

The workshop is largely an interactive session and will be a quarterly event. At the end of the workshop, NISH and Family Homes Funds will hopefully set in motion action plans towards establishing Cooperative Housing Federation Nigeria (CHFN), Cooperative Housing Fund (CHF) and Cooperative Housing Information System (CHIS)

By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja

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