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Jonathan, Buhari Spent N1.164 trn on Power in 8 years

The Nigerian government, between 1999 and 2010, reportedly spent over N4.7 trillion on power, but the country remained in darkness. Eight years later, Jonathan and Buhari administrations invested another N1.164 trillion into the sinkhole through capital releases, but homes and factories in Nigeria are yet to be provided with constant electricity supply.

Beatrice Ogbor, a six-year-old girl, and her two-year-old sibling, were born into darkness and have never shared in the joy of the popular exclamation “Up NEPA” that follows power restoration in Nigeria.

“We gave birth to her here in 2014,” her father, John Ogbor (45) says. “You will be surprised that she and her sibling have never seen electricity since birth.”

Ogbor is originally from Igede in Obi Local Government of Benue State. For the past 14 years, he has been living in Moro, a community along Shagamu – Ikorodu Expressway in Ogun State, after he left his original birthplace. But for almost seven years, his adopted community has been without electricity.

“We tried the little we can. As individual landlords, we contributed N40, 000 to try to make this electricity thing a reality. They said we should pay the money to process this and that to give us transformer, and we paid to Itesiwaju Area Community Council but at the end, nothing positive came out of it,” he said. For Ogbor, it has become almost hopeless waiting to access electricity in Moro, a community situated near the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in, Mosimi. Aside its energy need, the community lacks access to healthcare, potable water, road, and schools. “God can still send help though, we believe,” says John. He paused for a moment, took a deep breath while gazing at his two young children. “During campaign periods, we told them we don’t need rice, we don’t need money but electricity.

That has been our only request.” Similarly, Alasia, Iraye, Oremuti, Oponua, Likorodu, Imede and five other communities in Ogun State visited by The ICIR, shared the same fate or worse. For eight years, the Oremuti community struggled to access power. Oponua has never been connected to the national grid. These conditions are not peculiar to Ogun State, but also other states across the country. In Iraye community, Sagamu Local Government Area, the first set of electricity poles, according to Rasheed Alimi, the community head, was erected in 1994. To date, residents still live in darkness.

A huge concrete platform constructed for the electrification project still lies adjacent to the residence of Alimi. It has neither transformer nor electricity cables except for about three electricity concrete poles sighted in the area. Nearby is a multimillion Naira 10-bed health care facility built by the NNPC, but it is off-the-grid. Neglected and taken over by bush, eight months after commissioning.

The oil firm had installed a giant generator to service the clinic whenever it becomes operational but when this reporter visited, he observed that weeds also have covered the generator. Findings, however, revealed that the Ogun State Assembly under the administration of Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, approved in the 2013 budget, the electrification of 32 communities, including Iraye. A closer look shows that the state Ministry of Rural Development and Rural Electrification in Annexure-II (B) listed the proposed benefitting communities but no such project exists today in Iraye.

Over N1 trillion invested in power in eight years Nigeria generates its power via four main sources – hydro, gas, coal and natural gas. But for almost 20 years, huge unverified amount of money has been expended on the sector. Specifically, The ICIR, can authoritatively report that N1.164 trillion has been released to the power sector as capital budgets from 2011 to 2018, yet the power sector has not measured up – darkness still prevails.

This figure was obtained from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation. Electrical power often generated is literally not commensurate with the huge investments. And returns on investments have largely been discouraging as the Federal Government continues to pump in more resources in terms of budgetary allocations, loans among other interventions to ensure the nation meets its energy need.

The Energy Business report (April 2016 vol. 15 no 160), shows that N6.52 trillion has been spent on Nigeria’s power sector in 16 years with no significant improvement. For example, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, the report says, allegedly spent N3.52 trillion ($16 billion) during his tenure, though this figure has been contested.  Also, late President Umar Yar’adua was said to have spent N1.183 trillion, while the former President Goodluck Jonathan during his administration reportedly expended N1.817 trillion and President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly spent N1.5 trillion in two years, as at September. Meanwhile, findings by The ICIR revealed that between 2011 and 2018, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation released capital sum of N1, 164,278,006,846 for power projects in the country.

This sum, however, excludes capital releases to six agencies between 2016 and 2018 namely, Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Federal School of Survey, Oyo, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Surveyor Council of Nigeria and Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Survey, when the Buhari-led administration merged the power ministry with works and housing.

Epileptic power crippling rural economies, small businesses

The importance of stable power as driver of any country’s economy cannot be overemphasised as it is capable of transiting Nigeria from an under-developed to the much desired developed status, especially when industries, Small and Medium Business Enterprises (SMEs) are supported. But as at today, 90 million Nigerians still lack access to power, a situation that has crippled SMEs and industries.

Mrs. Apansile Ade, for instance, is an entrepreneur who operates water and paint factories. She had run the business for over five years but at a loss. She is currently operating only the water factory because the paint business has gone under.

“We just stopped producing because the generator developed a fault,” she told The ICIR. “Last week I spent almost N75, 000 repairing generator. I had to stop my son from resuming school on Monday because the little money I would have given to buy books and beverages was no longer there”. Unfortunately, the community she resides since 2010 has never been connected to the grid. As a result, she bought six generators to power her house and the water factory. The last power generating set just collapsed when The ICIR visited.

Government hoards information

In order to ascertain the exact amount invested in the power sector, the FOI request was sent to the Federal Ministry of Power. The ministry acknowledged receipt of the request and promised to respond. Weeks after, the ministry is yet to send a reply. Efforts through FOI requests from The ICIR to access a copy of the power sector shared agreement, which the federal government signed with the unbundled companies, failed.

The power ministry acknowledged the same letter but referred to the National Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE). But, till date, the document has not been provided. BPE claimed one of the power agreements is being investigated by the EFCC. However, the EFCC has remained numb on the claim after several attempts to verify. During the investigation, The ICIR visited the Omoku Generation Company Limited 264.7MW and 225MW power project awarded to Rockson Engineering Company Limited, which is located in Omoku community, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of River State.

The military and private security officials guard the uncompleted facility, which was awarded 14 years ago. In November 2017, the NDPHC promised Omoku and three other plants – 750MW Alaoji, 338MW Egbema and 225MW in Bayelsa would be completed before the third quarter of 2018, but that’s not entirely the case. The ICIR’s visit to the Omoku project site which also accommodates a state-owned power project revealed that the facility has since 2018 been taken over by the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).

Experts proffer solutions

In the face of these challenges, various experts have argued the need for the government to embrace renewable energy. Some also called for the rehabilitation of obsolete power equipment. “To address the problems, stakeholders including the Federal Government must try and invest in key infrastructure such as gas pipelines, equipment used in the distribution, generation and transmission of electricity, and other facilities,” says Marcel Hochet, President, Green Elect in an interview with The Nation newspaper.

The ICIR visited NDPHC headquarters to verify why some of the NIPP projects were not fully operational and others uncompleted, but Yakubu Lawal, the firm’s General Manager Communication and Public Relations, was absent. When the reporter called his phone number, it rang, but was later put on voice mail. Text messages sent to him also were not responded to.

This report is part of a collaborative investigative series by Daily Trust, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Premium Times and TheCable, facilitated by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under its Regulators Monitoring Programme (REMOP) for the Electricity Sector, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Source: dailytrustng

Nigeria Housing Deficit Persists Despite Over N124bn Investment In Four Years

The Federal Government (FG) has spent over N124billion to provide mass and affordable housing in four years, yet the country is still grappling with 22 million housing deficit.

Between 2015 and 2019, the FG has expended the said sum, in a bid to provide affordable housing for Nigerians, hence reduce the deficits.

For instance, before the commencement of the FG National Housing Programme in 2017 which is expected to cover 33 states, over N35.6billion was totally allocated for various housing projects between 2015 and 2016.

According to the 2015 approved budget of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, from the total allocation of N7.3billion, a sum of N20million were set aside for the; “Establishment of 150 No. Fully serviced residential plots per site in each state of the federation and FCT.”

Meanwhile, in the 2016 approved budget of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, over N35billion was earmarked for the, “construction of 1,973 blocks of 7,068 housing units in the six geo-political zones and the FCT.”

In 2017, the FG kick-started the National Housing Programme (NHP), as well as the Mass Housing Projects. While private sectors executed the NHP after State Governors provided land allocation for the project, the Mass Housing was implemented by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Abuja, as reflected in the budget.

As such, between 2017 and 2019, the budgetary allocations for these programmes, NHP and Mass Housing were to the tune of N88.5billion.

In 2017, the FG allocated exactly N28billion and N5billion for its national housing programme and the FHA mass housing projects respectively, out of a total budgetary allocation of N489.63billion.

Also, in 2018, while N26.65billion was earmarked for the NHP, N3.8billion was approved for the FHA mass housing project to make a total of N30.53billion from the approved capital budget of N683billion.

Similarly in 2019, from the approved capital allocation of N394.91billion of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the FG only committed an approximated N25billion to the national housing programme.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had in 2017 said that the National Housing Programme was a new housing policy conceived by the present administration with the aim of achieving acceptability and affordability by Nigerians.

He argued that the Housing policy will provide affordable housing for Nigerians in both private and public sectors.

He said the pilot scheme will see the construction of about 2,000 Housing Units in 33 States of the country with targeted beneficiaries within an income bracket of grade level 8 – 14 in both private and public sectors.

Unfortunately, despite the huge sums expended in the sector over a 4-year period, the country is still battling with how to address the over 22million housing deficits in the country.

This was further confirmed by the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa who added that the bulk of this is in urban areas — Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

Also, a quick look at the 2020 proposed Budget for the Ministry of Works and Housing, showed that out of an allocation of N287.2billion, a sum of N17.5billion was set aside for the NHP.

An analysis of the allocations to housing projects from 2017 to 2019 revealed a steady decrease. For instance, in 2018, the allocation to the national housing programme decreased by N1.3billion while same was noticed in 2019 and 2020 proposed budget.

Apart from budgetary allocations, the country also secured a World Bank$300million loan for Housing Finance Project to increase access to housing finance by deepening primary and secondary mortgage markets in the country.

Meanwhile, the United Nations(UN) recently reported that Nigeria’s housing sector is in crisis due to various factors contributing to the non-availability of affordable housing and increase in slums across the country.

The UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Ms Leilani Farha made the disclosure while presenting her preliminary findings on adequate housing at the end of a 10-day long fact-finding in Abuja.

She said: “Nigeria’s housing sector is in a complete crisis. There is no current National housing action plan or strategy. Coordination and communication between Federal and state governments seem lacking.

“There are few government-led housing programmes that the most impoverished can access. There are scant government housing subsidies to speak of. Informal settlements are ballooning where conditions are inhumane and perhaps the most severe I have seen worldwide.”

Source: tribuneonlineng

Driver in Los Angeles spends 128hrs a year on road, In Lagos 1516 hours

In August, CNN published a report on the perennial traffic jam in Lagos and how this affects the well-being of residents. The report filed by the network’s Nigerian correspondent, Shakir Akorede is still as relevant as the metropolis continues to be locked down anytime there is heavy rainfall.

Lagos traffic is so snarled and gridlocked that a recent trip from the airport to Ajah, on Lagos Island — a journey shorter than 50 kilometers — took me eight hours. That was two hours longer than my flight from Istanbul to Nigeria.

Welcome to traffic and travel Lagos-style, where the roads are clogged and millions of commuters are choked with frustration about the daily hassle in Nigeria’s commercial capital and Africa’s fifth largest economy.

Disgruntled commuter Yinka Ogunnubi is a typical example, recently tweeting: “Left my house by 5:30 a.m., got to work at 9:10 a.m. This is no longer work, it is suffer-head. Dear Boss, Can I work from home?”

Although many in Nigeria find the city alluring, especially for economic reasons, living in Lagos, the third most stressful city in the world, can take a mental toll.

The city is unhealthily crowded. Despite being the smallest state in the country, it has the highest urban population with an estimated population of 22 million people and counting, more than double New York or London’s tally.

More than eight million people, moving in five million vehicles cram into a tiny network of just 9,100 roads every day. This is the reason why Lagosians spend an average of 30 hours in traffic each week — or 1,560 annually — while drivers in Los Angeles and Moscow traffic spent only 128 and 210 hours respectively in the whole of 2018.

Lagos is projected to become the world’s biggest city by 2100, with a population of 88.3 million. It urgently needs better road facilities and a high-capacity transit system.
Mental health and productivity disasters

Traffic congestion, with its noise and environmental pollution, takes a huge toll on workers’ mental and physical health.

Health professionals have even linked its overall damage to the increasing rate of suicide in the city.

According to consultant psychiatrist Olufemi Oluwatayo, it’s not a surprise that Lagos commuters are negatively impacted by the traffic conditions.

“It is not really hard to see why employees might feel stressed, burned out or exhausted, especially in a city like Lagos,” Oluwatayo says.

Traffic jam stifles both state and national economies. The Lagos business community alone loses $30.5 million monthly. While the gridlock at Nigeria’s largest seaport, Apapa, costs the country $19 billion annually — a loss higher than the country’s 2016 budget

“They leave home at 4 a.m., enduring hellish traffic and then [have] to deal with work pressure and the prevalent job insecurity, not to add individual family problems and responsibilities. It is no surprise that, in general, many more people seems to be suffering from anxiety and depression.”

The situation is also killing workforce productivity.

“How productive can you be when you stay in traffic for over six hours on a daily basis, conjoined with the things you go through to have a normal life in this city?” media exec Agnes Marquis said in a report by local media publication Pulse, titled “Here’s why you should think twice before taking a job in Lagos.”

‘Beyond the cubicle’

While working conditions across the globe are fast evolving, some Nigerian companies are reluctant to enable their employees to work from home.

However workers with the option to decide when, where and how they work perform better, according to a report in the Harvard Business Review.
Companies in Lagos who have enabled their teams to work from home say they rely on Internet tools such as Slack and ClickMeeting to foster communications remotely.

“We heavily leverage Slack for internal communication — this makes it very easy for people to be in the loop of whatever is going on in the company regardless of where in the world they’re working from,” says Abdulrahman Jogbojogbo, who works for financial company Paystack.

Traffic jam stifles both state and national economies. The Lagos business community alone loses $30.5 million monthly. While the gridlock at Nigeria’s largest seaport, Apapa, costs the country $19 billion annually — a loss higher than the country’s 2016 budget.

The state’s new governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised to tackle the traffic issues and also decongest the Apapa port area, but some say his changes need to go deeper as the city creaks under the weight of its vast population.

“As much as the removal of trucks will decongest some roads, it’s no one-size-fits-all. There is a clear need to moderate the flow of people as the population soars higher. Remote work offers that opportunity,” Ogunnubi says.

Source: pmnewsnigeria

Singapore Ties With Italy in Having Most Women as CEOs: Global Study

SINGAPORE — In a new global study, Singapore has tied with Italy for top spot in having the highest proportion of companies with women as chief executive officers (CEOs).

In both countries, 15 per cent of firms are headed by female CEOs — but some Singapore women’s groups said that the country should be doing far better given the number of well-educated, highly competent women here.

In Thailand, 9 per cent of firms were headed by female CEOs, and it was 8 per cent in the Philippines.

The report, CS Gender 3000, was published by financial services giant Credit Suisse on Friday (Oct 11) and was conducted by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, the company’s in-house think-tank.

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The study looked at the state of gender equality in companies and involved more than 3,000 companies across 56 countries as well as 30,000 executive positions.

Singapore ranked fourth in terms of women in the position of chief financial officer, at 28 per cent, behind Thailand at 42 per cent, Taiwan at 30 per cent and Malaysia at 29 per cent.

Read also: More women needed in boardroom, gender diversity a ‘necessity’: Grace Fu

The study found that Singapore’s boardroom diversity has improved markedly since 2015, with the proportion of women on boards improving from 10.8 per cent then to 18.4 per cent this year.

In terms of overall gender diversity in management, Singapore came in sixth at 23 per cent. The Philippines took top spot, followed by Thailand, Sweden, Australia and Malaysia.

The institute’s previous reports found strong correlations between boardroom diversity and share price performance and profitability, though they did not assert cause and effect.

Read also: Asian firms with women leaders deliver better financial results

The cash flow returns on investment were 2.04 per cent higher for companies with a higher proportion of female senior managers, the institute found.

SINGAPORE CAN DO BETTER

Ms Margaret Thomas, president of Singapore women’s rights group Aware, said that the 15 per cent indicates that there is still much room for improvement. “In terms of competence, there is no good reason why there should not be many more women CEOs in Singapore,” she said.

Read also: Singapore’s gender wage gap widens in 2018

Ms Junie Foo, first vice-president of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations and chair of BoardAgender, agreed: “We are not surprised that Singapore is topping this list. n fact, we are surprised that it is not higher as we have educated, competent, extremely capable women.”

BoardAgender is an initiative to create awareness on the benefits of gender diversity in leadership roles in companies.

Ms Thomas noted that Singapore boards were 18.4 per cent female, below the global average of 20.6 per cent. “This could be a reason why we don’t have an even higher proportion of women CEOs. Male-dominated boards might be inclined to look for male CEOs.”

When asked about how the situation could be improved, she said: “There could well be many more women in the top management positions if, especially early in their careers, they had more access to flexible work arrangements and other support for childcare and eldercare needs.”

Ms Thomas added that women are still expected to shoulder the bulk of the burden of caregiving, which could impede on the opportunities to develop their career.

“We need a major shift in societal attitudes, and much clearer government policies and schemes to get employers to adopt flexible work arrangements — both for men and women.”

‘UNFETTERED PURSUIT OF PROFITS CANNOT GO ON’

The institute also conducted a survey of 120 family-owned companies, and found that a greater share of female executives correlated with a greater focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, on environmental, social and governance issues.

Ms Thomas said that boosting female representation to achieve these outcomes is particularly important. “This is what the world desperately needs now — responsible business practices. The unfettered pursuit of profits cannot go on. We need businesses to be paying much more attention to the environment and other implications.

“The benefits of having more women in top management positions and on boards are clear — the company enjoys stronger growth, higher margins, and better share price performance. Plus, there is that very important matter of responsible, sustainable business practices. We really need more women running businesses, not just in Singapore but throughout the world.”

Ms Foo added that BoardAgender identified some points that would increase diversity in directorship, one of which was prompting smaller companies to keep up with ways of increasing diversity.

She said: “Mid- and small-cap companies need to up their game . Large cap companies are leading in terms of diversity, and mid and small companies need to make more effort to do so.”

She added that shortening directorship tenure would improve the chances for new female directors to be appointed.

Source: todayonline

Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services Awarded $900,000 Grant For Affordable Housing

To address concerns of a lack of affordable housing, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services is receiving a $900,000 grant provided by the state government and a nonprofit that finances affordable housing.

The funds will be used to acquire and renovate distressed properties, provide training and technical assistance to homeowners, and create permanent affordable housing for low- and middle-income families. These housing properties will be added to INHS’s Community Housing Trust, meaning they are houses people own instead of INHS rental properties.

“The high cost of housing is one of the biggest challenges facing Ithaca today,” Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said. “I am proud that residents of Ithaca and Tompkins County will now have a fair chance at homeownership, which is key to the long-term stability and well being of the community.”

Myrick, New York Attorney General Letitia James and officials from INHS made the announcement during a news conference Thursday on Hancock Street .

New York Attorney General Letitia James announces a $900,000 grant for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services.Buy Photo
New York Attorney General Letitia James announces a $900,000 grant for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services. (Photo: Matt Steecker / Ithaca Journal)

Johanna Anderson, executive director of Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, said INHS is planning to preserve, buy and build 31 or more new housing units to be added to its community housing trust over the next five years.

The grant is part of a two-year program that will fund the creation of 18 of those new homes. It will allow INHS to create a new position to enhance and grow the community housing trust, and establish working capital revolving funds for land acquisition. INHS will also use the funds for outreach in educating and engaging homebuyers on the homes in the community land trust.

“The pipeline is constantly in motion, but this funding is wonderful, because there will be 18 units created whether we are buying or constructing,” Anderson said. “With every day comes new possibilities. Having $900,000 to do this work makes it more realistic and gets the pipeline moving much faster.”

The community housing trust currently has 52 units it has used to help 60 families over the last decade, Anderson said.

“INHS gave me the tools and support I needed to buy my first house,” said Leslie Benjamin, a community land trust resident. “I never thought I’d own a home, and I’m so thankful they walked me through the process. That program actually made me think it was possible to buy a house. I thank God each day.”

 

The grant is a continuation of the 2017 Community Land Trust Initiative started by the Office of the New York Attorney General and Enterprise Community Partners, a Maryland-headquartered nonprofit with offices in New York state.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick speaks at a press conference in which a $900,000 grant was announced for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services on Thursday. Behind him on the right side of the photo is Johanna Anderson and to her right is Leslie Benjamin, a community land trust resident who has received assistance from INHS.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick speaks at a press conference in which a $900,000 grant was announced for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services on Thursday. Behind him on the right side of the photo is Johanna Anderson and to her right is Leslie Benjamin, a community land trust resident who has received assistance from INHS. (Photo: Matt Steecker / Ithaca Journal)

“By providing Tompkins County with this grant, we are opening the doors to solutions to a problem that affects many families and individuals: the lack of safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities,” James said. “Our mission is to help communities develop solutions that meet local housing needs and revitalize neighborhoods.”

Outside of Tompkins, the Community Land Trust Initiative has awarded $7.8 million in nine cities and counties throughout New York state, including Broome, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the cities of Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, New York and Schenectady.

Martha Robertson, chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, speaks at a press conference in which a $900,000 grant was announced for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services on Thursday.Buy Photo
Martha Robertson, chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, speaks at a press conference in which a $900,000 grant was announced for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services on Thursday. (Photo: Matt Steecker / Ithaca Journal)

“These homes will remain affordable,” said Martha Robertson, chair of the Tompkins County Legislature. “The value of the land will be held in perpetuity in the community land trust by INHS.”

NYC To Partner With Co-living Start-ups To Create Affordable Housing

Nearly a year after the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced a pilot program to develop affordable co-living residences, three proposals have been chosen to kick the whole thing off.

HPD announced this week that it will partner with three teams, comprising developers, nonprofits, and co-living companies, to develop sites in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In a press release, HPD commissioner Louise Carroll said the idea with the selected proposals is to mix “affordability with flexibility” to provide different types of housing to New Yorkers in need of affordable apartments.

“I hope that these three projects can serve as a model for more creative approaches to addressing the variety of unmet housing needs in our city,” City Council member Brad Lander said in a statement.

The three projects are as follows:

  • Ascendant Neighborhood Development, an East Harlem community group, and the Ali Forney Center will partner on a 10-story building in the neighborhood with the ability to house 36 people. The housing units will be spread across four duplex units, which will be shared by residents, and a single simplex unit; everything will be furnished, and utilities will be included. The team expects to have many of its residents come from the shelter system.
  • Development partners will also team up for an East Harlem building, this one with a whopping 253 “housing opportunities” split up between two eight-story buildings. True to form for Common, the buildings will have different types of co-living units—some more private, some more open—with the general idea being to encourage community among its residents. The project will be mostly geared toward low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, but some units will be market-rate.
  • And in East New York, co-living start-up PadSplit and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation will create 11 housing opportunities in a two-story, legal single-room occupancy building. The building will be renovated and current residents will be able to remain, according to HPD. Once the renovation is complete, the units will be furnished, and common space—a yard, a communal area—will be added.

The co-living trend has been picking up steam in New York City; while Common is one of the largest operators of this type of housing, but other companies—including have also rolled out these dorm-like housing opportunities throughout the five boroughs.

And this is one of several creative solutions the city is looking at for creating affordable housing; earlier this year, HPD partnered with AIA’s New York chapter to design housing on oddly sized vacant lots.

SOURCE: Curbed.com

Why Brains & Hammers Remain a Leading Brand in Housing Delivery

Brains & Hammers are undisputedly in a leading position in the Nigeria building construction industry. This has been proven over years with innovations, sustainability and recognition by the built environment.

Brains & Hammers Limited is specialized in the design and building of high-end residential properties. The company has expanded its core competencies, transferring the same focus on quality to complementary offerings along six primary specialties: Infrastructure, Affordable Housing, Luxury Housing, Hotels and Luxury Serviced Apartments, Facility Management.

With over 10 years in the industry, Brain & Hammers has become one of the fastest real estate firms in Nigeria with a major aim on the mid luxury range of properties. By maintaining control through the architecture and construction process, they make sure that all of its residences are built to the highest quality standards obtainable anywhere in the world. Always on-time based and on-budget, their attention to detail is one of their major assets. From the moment you sign up for a Brain & Hammers property package, to the moment you take delivery of your prized possession, expect world class professionalism; expect a level of personalized service that is unmatched in the Nigerian real estate industry.

Over the years in the market, Brain & Hammers has always maintained a policy of using only the best: architects, engineers, contractors, suppliers or support staff across board. They work along with all stakeholder right from the early phases of the projects, resulting in their characteristically smooth work ethics and a growing reputation for first rate project management – all aimed at delivering luxury at the right price, as at when due for the customer.

Their highly experienced team and full-time supervisors are always on-site to monitor progress and compliance to budgets, schedules and all specifications. Final product always exceeding stakeholder expectations based on the agreed budgets and plans.\

READ ALSO: Why CDK Remains the Leading Brand in Sanitary Wares

They engage in full circle real estate development services including pre-construction, construction, sales and facility management. Some of the areas where they have built estates in Abuja include Apo 1, 2, 3 and 4, Lifecamp, Gwarimpa, Galadimawa, and Games Village. The ones in Lagos include Lekki, Brain & Hammers City and more.

Of all their achievements, it is their ability to respectfully meet the exact needs of their customers, and sometimes exceed them, that has profoundly stood out.

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A Lack of Affordable Housing Hurts Us All

Yesterday marked World Habitat Day, a day designated by the United Nations to reflect “on the basic right of all to adequate shelter”. As politicians continue knocking on doors, participating in debates and making promises to Canadians, Habitat for Humanity Canada wants Canadians to support housing by asking politicians tough questions on how they plan to support access to decent and affordable housing for all.

With 1.7 million households across Canada in core housing need, too many people are living in overcrowded, unaffordable housing that is often in need of major repairs. In many areas of the country, rising prices in housing have resulted in homeownership being unattainable even with a substantial income. For many Canadians on lower incomes, the choices when it comes to housing are neither decent nor affordable.

“Every day, more and more families are caught in punishing cycles of unpredictable rent increases, overcrowded conditions, and a lack of affordable housing,” said Mark Rodgers, Habitat Canada’s President and CEO. “Too many families live with a constant burden of uncertainty, stress and fear – especially their children. Housing is a basic human right, and every individual campaigning during this election should be able to answer how they will ensure everyone has access to decent and affordable housing.”

For many, renting is just as challenging as homeownership. Forty percent of Canadians are paying more than what is considered an affordable amount. Fifty percent of single-mother households are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. A lack of access to decent and affordable housing disproportionately affects some more than others, including single-mother households, seniors and Indigenous households. One in five Indigenous peoples lived in a dwelling that was in need of major repairs, and the number of senior households in core housing need rose by 21 percent from 2011 to 2016.

While the impacts of affordable homeownership are many, including reduced reliance on food banks, improved health for both children and parents, better economic opportunities, to name a few, Habitat for Humanity also helps free up much-needed space on social housing wait lists by providing affordable homeownership opportunities. Before partnering with Habitat to become a homeowner, twenty-three percent of the homeowners who partnered with Habitat for the first time in 2018 were living in social or subsidized housing.

The Habitat for Humanity model of affordable homeownership bridges a gap for people who face barriers to homeownership and would not otherwise qualify for a traditional mortgage. Habitat homeowners volunteer up to 500 hours and pay an affordable mortgage geared to their income, helping them build a strong foundation and the financial stability to help plan for their children’s futures.

“There has been a lot of significant movement forward on ensuring increased access to more affordable housing,” said Mark Rodgers. “For whoever wins this election, we cannot afford to lose momentum now as it would only deepen the current housing crisis.”

Source: globenewswire

Flyaway Homes Builds Housing Faster Than Governments

LOS ANGELES – Any way it is measured, progress on Southern California’s housing crisis is too slow. Nearly three years after Los Angeles voters approved $1.2 billion for affordable housing, not a single unit has come online.

But a group of entrepreneurs think they can solve some of the problems that is causing the hold-up.

“It’s about the bureaucracy and things that slow the process down,” said Kevin Hirai, who heads up a major property management firm in SoCal, and is the Chief Operating Officer of Flyaway Homes, a new affordable housing provider in Los Angeles.

 

“We really just said we have to do this on our own and we have to do something now,” Hirai said.

By streamlining developments and using affordable construction materials like shipping containers, Flyaway homes is building housing in a third of the time at a third of the cost compared to the local government.

“We can’t build housing fast enough,” said Flyaway’s CEO Michael Parks, who spent nearly 40 years in the financial industry.

Now, Parks hopes to redefine affordable construction.

SOURCE: spectrumnews1

Housing Report: Imo Spends N42bn in Seven Years

A non-governmental organisation, Spaces for Change, in its new research, said the Imo State Government between 2010 and 2017 allocated more than N42bn to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

The group, however, stated that the allocation had no correlation with increase in housing stocks as annual housing production had been inadequate to close the deficit in the state.

It explained that there had been discrepancy between housing budgets and the delivery of affordable, livable housing in the state.

According to the report, successive administrations in the state between 2010 and 2017 have placed emphasis on buildings and other public structures that neither contribute to the state’s housing stock nor tackle the housing affordability crisis in the state.

It noted that the bulk of the money appropriated for housing development went to projects that mainly benefited the executive, government officials, public servants and political appointees.

“Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the provision of affordable residential housing is not among the state’s top priorities. For instance, the 2012 budget appropriated N50m for mass housing while N102, 500, 000 was budgeted for the construction of Her Excellency’s office and conference,” the report said.

It added that determining the start and end dates for most housing projects was a herculean task complicated by the year-on-year repetition of projects, including inserting completed projects in the state’s annual budgets.

It explained that year-on-year repetition of budget lines without any expatiation on cause and purpose cast a shadow of doubt on budgeting and fiscal transparency.

The report said, “The government’s demolition-centric approach to urban renewal as against in-situ upgrading of declining communities has widened the housing deficit in the state.

“Development-induced displacements also pushed the affected population deeper into poverty as more people lose their houses to demolition without adequate compensation or arrangements for resettlement. The PPP model of project financing in Imo State is problematic in many respects.

“The terms and conditions of the contracts with the private actors were often shrouded in secrecy. Likewise, the procedures for tendering contracts, competitive bidding and contractor selection could not be ascertained.”

The report stated that institutions such as the Imo Housing Corporation, statutorily mandated to undertake housing development were continuously starved of funds while white elephant projects executed between 2014 and 2017 forced significant reductions in the funding levels for housing development.

Among the recommendations from the research, S4C said the Imo State Government should put a sound policy on affordable housing in place, adopt Straight-Through Processing system of budgeting and engage different stakeholders in housing development.

It added that the state government should strengthen the Bureau of Public Procurement and Price Intelligence and revive its housing corporation, which it said was active and profitable at some point in time.

“It is hoped that the findings of this study will provide Imo State Government with an independent performance analysis of the housing sector which can form the baseline for initiating critical reforms in the state,” it added.

The aim of the report, according to the group, would have been achieved if it guides state executives in decision-making and priority-setting while influencing a positive effect on attitudes to public spending.

The Executive Director, Spaces for Change, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, said the group launched its investigative report, with a focus on Imo State, to help understand Nigeria’s housing crisis.

She said the research took into account the peculiarities of the state in terms of annual budgets, population size, revenue generation capabilities and geographical characteristics.

SOURCE:PUNCH.

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