What most contributors to NHF don’t know about FMBN

In order to address the housing challenges faced by many Nigerians, the then colonial government set up The Federal Mortgage Bank.Though the bank has been in existence since 1956, most contributors to National Housing Fund(NHF), do not know much about the functions of the bank.This article will enlighten you on the functions of this institution.

It is the apex mortgage bank in Nigeria,founded in 1956. As at the time of its establishment, it was known as the Nigeria Building Society (NBS). It was formed as a joint venture of the Federal Governments and Eastern Governments of Nigeria, and the Commonwealth Development Corporation. It was renamed to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in 1973 after the Federal government was given full control of the National Building Society through the Indigenization Act.

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In 1994, the FMBN acquired the status of the apex mortgage institution in Nigeria with the proclamation of the Mortgage Institutions Act 53 of 1989 and the FMBN Act 82 of 1993. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria introduced a savings scheme called the National Housing Fund. It is a form of savings that organize and manage long-term funds from the federal government, banks, insurance companies, and Nigerian workers to promote the giving of loans at lower interests to contributors. Over the years, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria has undergone different kinds of reforms to promote and meet its mandate.

The Federal Mortgage Bank provides long-term credit services to mortgage banks in Nigeria and other mortgage institutions at rates that will allow the mortgage banks and institution grant loans to individuals who want to acquire their own houses. It encourages and promotes the establishment and development of mortgage institutions at federal, state, local, and even rural levels. It encourages the growth of the required of lasting secondary mortgage institutions to meet the housing needs of Nigerians. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria gives licensing authority for secondary mortgage institutions in Nigeria.

It monitors and regulates the activities of mortgage institutions in Nigeria. It collects and manages the National Housing Funds in a manner that conforms to the provision of the National Housing Fund Act. The Federal Mortgage Bank also mobilizes both domestic and foreign funds into the housing sector, and it is the link between the mortgage market and the capital market.

From time to time, the bank also introduces different innovative mortgage-related programs and products to achieve its mandates. The main goal of the Federal Mortgage Bank is to advance home-ownership among every Nigerian by creating mortgage markets with a sustainable financing system.

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria partners with mortgage institutions with the technical and financial capacity, who are interested in delivering affordable housing to the low and medium income earners.

SOURCE:Affa Dickson Acho with Agency reports.

Overcoming the housing challenge through housing cooperatives

Housing problems in Nigeria are multi-dimensional. They occur both in the urban and rural areas. They are qualitative, quantitative, psychological and socio-cultural in nature. These problems are consequences of the inability and ineffectiveness of both the public and private sectors to meet the housing needs of the populace. As a result of this, any lasting solution to the Nigerian housing problem requires a multi- faceted approach.

Housing cooperatives emerged as a response to the desperate housing conditions of the working class particularly the middle income earners. In order to give hope to many working Nigerians who desire to own their homes, housing cooperatives were established, with the aim of providing adequate and affordable housing to Nigerians.

The operation of co-operative societies was first regulated by the coming into being of the co-operative societies ordinance of 1935. But even before the above stated period, there were successful attempts by indigenous groups at the traditionally styled co-operative societies commonly known as “Isusu”. The success of co-operative in Nigeria is such that, by 1965 there were about 5, 500 co-operative societies with a total of 358,000 members.

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Housing cooperatives are mutually owned and controlled by a group of members, pooling resources and lowering individual costs of all services related to the provision of housing.Housing co-operative society links co-operative members to financial institutions. Banks, government and other institution find it easier to deal with group interested in housing development instead of individual basis.

The housing co-operative society scrutinizes individual members’ credit wordiness for housing loans, negotiates better terms for loans and undertakes to generate such housing loans. Supervises or monitors the use of the housing loans/credit to avoid diversion, mismanagement or misapplication etc. in most cases, the problem is checked through the provision of building materials in kind to members by their housing co-operative society.

The co-operative may cover financing of the project by group contribution actual participation. The government or any institution may provide finances and materials, while the individual member of the co-operative society will provide the labour. To further assist in the smooth operation of co- operatives, specialized banks have long been established across the country to cater for their banking needs.

Housing cooperatives are increasingly relevant as a housing strategy for the urban poor in Africa. In Egypt, for example, cooperatives were established already at the beginning of the 20th Century, as part of the anti-colonial struggle. Housing cooperatives emerged as a result of individual initiatives with some State support in 1930. State support significantly increased from the 1970s on wards, when housing cooperatives also became part of a slum eradication strategy. Today, Egypt counts 2,320 housing cooperative societies accounting for half million dwelling units.

In Kenya, housing co-operatives were introduced in the 1980s. Although limited and under the control of the government, the National Cooperative Housing Union (NACHU) was established by the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU). Nevertheless, it managed to create partnership and be financially supported by international organizations allowing it to provide technical assistance and micro-finance loans for the development of lower income housing.

In many developed countries, housing cooperatives have been important driving forces in the promotion of a sustainable, socially inclusive, and equitable urban development; they are no longer only providers of affordable dwellings but also influential civil society actors playing an important role in defining how neighbourhoods and cities should look like and what they should offer to their citizens. In these countries, they are recognized as a viable strategy through which decent and affordable housing can be ensured to different categories of people.

If housing cooperatives are explored to the maximum in Nigeria, they have the potential to foster social cohesion and well-being by engaging in community initiatives and projects and contribute to enhance their members’ personal skills and confidence as they deal with administrative issues, finances, building, and maintenance.

To fulfill this role, however, housing cooperatives require strong civil society organisations, enabling policies, and support from the three-tiers of government, in the areas of tax exemptions, subsidized loans and grants, access to affordable land for example through partnerships with local and state  governments.

If these conditions are fulfilled, housing cooperatives can play an important and innovative role to overcome the Nigeria housing crisis, which finds its expression in approximately 17 million people currently lacking adequate housing or living in slums.

SOURCE: Affa Dickson Acho

AHCN: Mobilizing the housing sector for greater efficiency

The Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) is the umbrella body of all the housing corporations and related housing agencies in Nigeria. The Association was formed in May, 1964 by four defunct regional housing corporations and the Lagos Executive Development Board, (LEDB) (now LSDPC), with the main objective of ensuring the increased availability of dwelling houses and the development of the housing industry.

From four foundation members, the Association has grown to a 50 member organization, which includes, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), all the thirty six states Housing Agencies, housing research institutes, mortgage establishments, and private property developers.

These housing agencies located in each state of the federation, have the statutory mandate to execute public housing programmes for each state of the federation based on the formulated housing policies.

Essentially, they undertake the development of estates by acquiring, developing, holding, managing, selling, leasing or letting any property movable or unmovable in their respective states.

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The Association is also charged with providing a home ownership saving scheme in respect of any housing estate or building owned, constructed and managed by them with a view to enabling members of the public purchase or build their own houses as well as sites and services scheme for residential, commercial and industrial purposes for the people of their respective states.

AHCN also construct and maintain modern dwelling houses at reasonable costs for sales to members of the public; undertake the construction of offices, commercial and industrial buildings for letting out to members of the public among other things and engage in other investment activities and opportunities as may be determined by the respective state governments.

Other objectives of AHCN include, providing the means for consultation among government departments or ministries, statutory public and private organizations whose functions/interests are related to the provision of adequate housing for Nigerians.

Over the years, AHCN has fostered, promoted and stimulated planning, construction, and financing of real estates and dwellings across the country, through joint and individual efforts.The Association has also provided a means of communication and consultation and where feasible, enabled joint action with public and private organizations of other countries, and with international organizations and agencies, for the provision of housing and infrastructure.

It is worthy to note that it was through the Association’s efforts and useful suggestions on housing policy options that gave birth to viable government agencies like the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), the National Housing Policy (NHP) and National Housing Fund (NHF).

In the area of solving the housing deficit, AHCN prides itself as the only body that can address the challenge. Making a case for this assertion, AHCN Executive Secretary Toye Eniola, in an interview said,

“The public and private sector driven mass housing provision have been experimented and tested over the years and it has been proven that public sector driven housing provision through housing corporations are equal to the task of developing mass housing given the right atmosphere,”

According to him, “housing challenge of most of our state capitals, especially during creation of new states were effectively resolved by housing corporations and it is most evident in most state capitals with popular and established housing estates.

“Housing corporations are government parastatals with access to government land, which place them at vantage position to execute government housing scheme.

He stated that private developers are high profit driven and they prefer middle and high-income housing projects, which are easier to dispose to recoup their investment in a short while, which invariably does not favour the low income groups because of affordability questions.

With the construction sector being the largest employer of labour in Nigeria, AHCN is calling for massive investment by government into the sector and the establishment of a financial institution that would provide funding for the construction industry like the ‘Construction Bank’.

As a way of tackling housing challenges in the country, AHCN came up with a new policy tagged Eradicating Homelessness Initiative,‘ERAHOMS’, which is basically aimed at reducing and eradicating homelessness among Nigerians. The programme is a practical effort aimed at providing affordable housing for Nigerians, especially those who are interested in using the National Housing Fund to purchase the housing units.

More ground can be covered in the race to solving housing problems in Nigeria, with government support and providing an enabling environment for members. It is in this vein, that the Association has consistently called for the review of laws establishing housing corporations, granting them autonomy and commercialisation to enable them fulfill their statutory responsibilities in the housing sector.

It further called for all outstanding contributions to the NHF to be remitted while statutory provisions of the National Housing Policy should be strictly enforced and applied along with the sanctions embedded in the policy.

Government should also make other sources of funding available for housing corporations, these sources could include annual grant from the Federal Governments, specific contributions from State Governments, financial institutions specific contributory involvement, as well as contributions investible funds from quoted companies

Government can also make other sources of funding available for housing corporations, these sources could include annual grant from the Federal Governments, specific contributions from State Governments, financial institutions specific contributory involvement, as well as contributions investible funds from quoted companies.

SOURCE: Affa Dickson Acho

How To Lawfully Eject A Tenant In Nigeria

It is very often the case that sometimes a tenant refuses to quit the premises and hand over the keys to the Landlord even when the length of time given him to quit the premises has elapsed. Many a times, the tenant refuses to move out because he has nowhere else to go, at some other times, he refuses to move out because he feels that the Notice to quit is undeserved, some tenants refuse to leave because they just do not feel like it. Whatever, the reasons for refusing to leave, this usually does not go down well with the Landlord who wants that tenant gone so he can rent out the place to another tenant or use his property for whatever he deems fit.

As infuriating as such a situation might be, the law frowns against extra-judicial means of ejecting such a tenant as that could amount to an illegality which could create problems for the Landlord. This article outlines the procedures which must be complied with in ejecting a tenant.

1.    NOTICE TO QUIT
The very first step is to issue a valid notice to quit. It is important that the Notice to quit gives the tenant the length of notice required by law. This affords the tenant an opportunity to make plans for another accommodation before he finally quits the premises.

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The law permits the Landlord and the tenant to determine the length of notice that each would be required to give if either of them wants to bring the tenancy to an end. It is therefore important that when the parties are negotiating the terms of the tenancy agreement, that the length of notice to be given by each party is properly spelt out.

2.    7 DAYS NOTICE OF OWNER’S INTENTION TO RECOVER POSSESSION
When after service of the Notice to quit, and the length of notice stipulated in the Notice to quit expires and the tenant or any person in possession of the property fails to give up possession of the property, then the Owner of the property (Landlord) is required to serve another notice on such a person. This notice is known as 7 Days’ Notice of Owner’s Intention to recover possession.

This Notice is to inform the tenant that if after 7 days , he is still in possession; that is, if he refuses to hand over the keys and move out, that the Landlord will take the matter to court and request the court to help him eject the tenant, since he has refused to move out on his own.

If after the 7 days stipulated in the notice the tenant still refuses to move out, then the Landlord can apply to the court for Recovery of his property/premises from the tenant. If the Landlord’s case has merit, then the court would issue an order ejecting the tenant.

Most times, some Landlords get angry at the tenant for refusing to move out after the expiration of the notice and they resort to ejecting the tenant forcefully, by either throwing out his possessions, removing the roof, cutting off power supply to his house, locking the gate, and all sorts of things, just to force the tenant out.

The court has frowned at such practices and has warned that Landlords should comply with the procedure of ejecting tenants under the law in order not to create problems for themselves. This is because when the law is not complied with, then the Landlord could be liable for trespass to property and might have to pay damages to the tenant.

It is usually best to get a lawyer to handle the process of ejecting a tenant, when the need to do so arises in order not to run afoul of the law.

SOURCE: NAIJA LEGAL TALK

Africa’s Environment Ministers call for action through innovative solutions

 

Under the theme “Turning environmental policies into action through environmental solutions”,the ministers came together from 17 to 19 September to mobilize political support and committed to integrate innovative solutions into their countries’ national development agendas.Guided by global environmental concern, ministers of environment and government representatives of African nations have committed to promote and invest in innovative solutions while implementing concrete actions to overcome environmental challenges facing the continent.In a ministerial declaration the African governments agreed to enhance innovative environmental solutions and capacity building of human capital to achieve sustainable development in Africa. 

Committing to enhance their countries’ efforts to implement policies, legislation and programmes promoting innovative solutions, the ministers called on UN Environment Assembly and UN Environment programme to increase support to African countries as well as facilitating access to innovative partnerships.

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At the conference, ministers stressed the need to empower innovators, the private sector, micro-small and medium enterprises and civil society to use new approaches to address environmental challenges. They agreed to support Pan-African platforms on the environment to promote and share experiences and solutions across the continent.

Addressing the Conference, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “Environment is central to human health; every year almost 12.6 million people die from hidden risks in the environment.” He called on African governments to put human and environmental health at the centre of policy making in all sectors.

On behalf of the President of Kenya H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment said:” It is important to note that environment is the foundation and the basis of the social and economic development of our countries.”“I challenge you to come up with ways of enhancing the wealth from our rich biodiversity in forests, rangelands, wildlife and marine resources,” he added.

“Africa needs to invest in innovative solutions to change its development pathway in a sustainable way. We need to deploy new and smart approaches to overcome the continent’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said Dr. Nezha El Ouafi Minister of Environment, Morocco and vice-president of AMCEN.

“Public-private sector partnership will have to play a key role in embracing innovation and turning environmental policies into concrete actions to achieve the objectives of the AU Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Minister Ouafi added. “Africa stands on the right side of history to support the environment. We have the human resources, natural wealth, and leadership to innovate and transform our region,” said Joyce Msuya, Deputy Head of UN Environment.

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some key decisions made at the conference included:

Biological Diversity: African Governments recognized the urgent need to combat land degradation and restore ecosystems in Africa. A Pan-African action agenda is being prepared to respond to land and ecosystems degradation challenges. The Ministers agreed to develop common positions on various priority issues and speak with one voice during the upcoming 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference which will be held in Egypt in November 2018. The priorities will inform the post-2020 biodiversity framework and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

On Climate Change, the Ministers stressed that the outcomes of COP24 should reflect the spirit of the Paris agreement. The outcomes should balance between the Agreements elements related to action, support and transparency. Adaptation and finance should be core elements for effective operationalization of the Agreement.

Health and Environment: Recognizing the nexus between environment and health, Ministers agreed to actively participate in the third Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Africa, Libreville, 9 to 12 October 2018. The theme is “Health and environment strategic alliance: a catalysis for action on the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.”

They emphasized the importance of enhancing accessibility, predictability and sustainability of means of implementation, in particular finance. They agreed to work constructively to deliver the mandate of the Paris Agreement Work Programme.

Kofi Adu Domef

Why progress is slow in real estate sector, by experts

 

Experts in real estate yesterday blamed policy inconsistencies, delay in legal process, poor state of infrastructure and inadequate access to finance for the slow progress recorded by the sector in the country.

Speaking at the 7th edition of the yearly Real Estate Unite summit organized by 3Invest, a real estate company, in Lagos were  experts, who were drawn from the public and private sectors, only collaborative efforts by players in the industry can position it on the path of growth to contribute its quota to the nation’s economic development.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eximia Realty Limited, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, who spoke on “Connecting the dots: Nexus between policy, legal and regulatory framework and real estate growth in Nigeria”, noted that government inconsistent policy, lack of infrastructure and high cost of construction had inhibited growth in the sector.

He said although some significant reforms had been made in the sector, leading to the nation’s improving record in the ease of doing business rating, it was still suffering severe challenges that required consistent and collaborative efforts to overcome.

The developer, who is a former managing director of UACN Property Development Company Plc, noted the important role of infrastructure in the growth of the sector, saying it constituted between 15 to 20 percent of the cost of development.

On the issue of funding, Ogunniran expressed regret that access to long-term funds is very limited, while the available offshore funding is bedeviled by the velocity of the foreign exchange market.

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According to him, the nation can make progress when all stakeholders come together to ensure strict compliance with some positive government policies, such as the Nigeria Housing Finance programme.

The Chief Executive Officer, Nedcomaoks Limited, Mr. Kennedy Okonkwo, called for the protection of property rights by governments despite party affiliations.

He recalled the recent demolition of a television house in Ibadan, Oyo State, stressing that revocation of titles by successive government do not encourage investment in the real estate sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of Palton Moragn Holdings, Adesope Adeyinka, said it was ironical that government, which wants to solve housing problems, always come out with unfavourable policies.He lamented that government is treating the issue of perfection of titles and land acquisition as business instead of service, thereby working against its intention to solve housing problems.

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In her address, the organizer of the summit and Chief Executive,3Invest, Mrs. Ruth Obih-Obuah, noted the importance of the real estate as the most transformative sector of any economy and one of the most effective tools for poverty alleviation and job creation.

She said the sector was capable of contributing meaningfully towards the development of the economy, if adequately structured.

This year’s submit was tagged  “The Conversation Summit.”

 

Bertram Nwannekanma

 

Tinubu’s firm stops work on roads over rift with Ambode

• Hitech withdraws workers, equipment from sites
• Projects ongoing, state official affirms, blames rains

The ongoing road construction in Lagos State could be the latest casualty in the political battle between Governor Akinwumi Ambode and All Progressives Congress National Leader Bola Tinubu.

Ambode’s ambition to retain his seat in the next election has come under attack from powerful interests affiliated to the leader and former state governor. Two former commissioners, Mr. Femi Hamzat and Jide Sanwo-Olu, have obtained nomination forms to contest the party’s ticket in the coming direct primary scheduled to hold September 25.

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Sanwo-Olu, a former commissioner of commerce and industry, is said to be enjoying the backing of Tinubu and the Mandate Group. At his formal declaration, yesterday, Sanwo-Olu praised the achievements of former military governor, Brig. Mobolaji Johnson, and former governor, Babatunde Fashola, saying their strides contributed to the prosperity of Lagos.

While the conflict within the ruling APC in Lagos plays out, work at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Road and Pen Cinema Bridge in Agege has come to a suspicious halt, as the contractor, Messrs Hitech Construction Company Limited, has left the sites.Sources close to the firm, though, blamed the development on the non-payment of fees by the government. About N20 billion is said to still be outstanding. Tinubu allegedly owns substantial stakes in the construction company and wields great influence over it.

An investigation by The Guardian showed that major equipment has been removed. At Airport Road, specifically, some of the workers were seen moving out their luggage. Following their withdrawal, many miscreants yesterday filled the void, controlling traffic along the unfinished stretch. The Guardian learnt that the state government has scheduled a meeting with Hitech today .Efforts to speak with the managing director of the firm were unsuccessful.

The assistant director, public affairs, of the Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Shina Thorpe, however said, “We were there two Fridays ago for inspection and you would see that the service lane has been finished to a point. And don’t forget that with the rains, there is no way they can work. The rains have to subside. If they do any work in the rain, they would have to do it over again. So, work has not stopped on the project.”

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On the alleged non-payment of the contractor, he explained: “There are payment schedules and the state government is working with those schedules. You don’t expect the government to pay everything without the work completed. Government is working with the payment schedules.”Both reconstructions were expected to end notorious gridlocks and scale up property in the area. The Lagos State government had promised to deliver the Oshodi-Airport Road in 15 months. It was to be upgraded from four to 10 lanes. Work commenced on September 2017. The Agege Pen Cinema Bridge had a December 2018 completion date.

Victor Gbonegun

“You Can Enjoy Rental Income without Owning a Property”

Founder of Africa’s Property Investment Group, Mr. Chudi Kalu, in this interview with Mary Ekah, speaks about investing in the real estate business as the surest way to building and securing one’s future, providing insights and latest money-making tips in the property market in Africa, among other issues

How would you describe Nigerians attitude towards investment in real estate?

So far we have realised that people fear that the recession in the nation will stop them from investing in property. But that is not the case because a lot of people are already taking advantage of real estate investment because they know that the way to come out of any form of recession is when they enjoy consistent cash flow. So a lot of people are investing in real estate at this particular time.

That is why we have been holding a lot of seminars and workshops lately aimed at opening the minds of investors to how they can change their financial levels for better by investing in real estate, the opportunities that are available to people and how ordinary individuals can take advantage of the investment opportunities available within the real estate sector without having to break the bank. And I think that for real estate industry to grow in Nigeria and for property business in Nigeria to be activated properly, investors should come in; and we cannot always expect foreigners to invest in real estate in Nigeria, we the local people should take advantage of the opportunities around us.

You have had series of conferences and workshops on real estate lately, what is the driving force behind all these?

We at AFPING are trying to give everyone an opportunity to invest in high quality real estate investment. Presently we have projects in Surulere, Yaba, Ijesha amongst other areas in Lagos and elsewhere. We also have some UK projects that we are pursuing at the moment. Anybody can take advantage of these opportunities and you don’t necessarily have to live in the UK to invest in the UK. To this end, we have been doing a lot of coaching on real estate investment and how people can take advantage of the rental market. We are particularly focused on educating people on how they can enjoy rental income without owing a property of your own.

People keep wondering if this is possible. It is actually very possible if you understand how it works. Now because of the challenge of buying property in certain areas, a lot of people have lost money because of “Omo onile” and they bought property expecting that some of those property will appreciate but after 10 years, they probably do not know where the location of that property is and at the end they would realise that they must have been duped. So it is better to play within a particular market where you can easily take advantage of. Now how do you participate in the Lagos market for example without getting your hands burned? At least we can see the population.

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When I see the Lagos traffic, I get so excited and then some people wonder why I am so. I feel so because as long as there are people within town, rent will continue to go up. And what drives rental income for landlords is the number of people that lives in a particular area. And how do I as an individual participate in that game without actually owning a house is what we have been able to figure out at these seminars and workshops. When you go round that, you see a lot of property that are empty and also property that the landlords do not have the required funds to put them in good shapes because they probably do not have a regular income and yet the property is within a good location.

All one needs to do is to invest in such property and renovate for better rental charges while both the landlord and investor share the profits. So, as an investor, you do not have to buy the property to share in the profits, All you need to do is just to invest some money for its renovation and then in return get huge rental income. That is what we coach people on during the seminars and workshops that we have been holding lately and you don’t have to be an expert in the industry before you can earn rental income but all you need is to have a little fund on ground.

According to statistics, we have 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria and if every household pays a hundred thousand naira from the 17 million housing deficit that we have in this country that will be more than 17 billion naira annually. So I would say that the deficit we are facing in the housing sector is an opportunity and not a curse.

And it is those people who see the opportunity within that market that would take advantage of it. If they say we have about 17 million housing deficit, what it simply means is that you have 17 million families who are ready to pay only for kind of houses they can afford, so that means that if anybody has the houses that fit their needs, they would be willing to pay. So the deficit is an opportunity for only those that see it as a business opportunity and can then thrive on it.

So it is a missed opportunity for me if I do not invest in such market. So real estate is a big market not just for the developers but also for people who can see opportunity in that area and grab it and this can only be achieved when I use my money to do renovations on some of these properties on ground.

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Many people have properties but they are still poor merely because they are not thinking creatively nor taking advantage of the immense problem of housing deficit and then convert that problem to their own advantage; and that is what our seminars and workshops are all about. We are trying to teach people how they can take advantage of the housing problem in Nigeria. Every problem is clothed with opportunity and how you take advantage of that opportunity is what this is all about.

How would the common man who could hardly save the miniature income earn benefit from this?

There is a scheme we have been doing for over four years now, where by certain people can put funds together to own high quality real estate investments. For example, there is a particular project somewhere in Ikeja that requires about N22 million. Now, if I come together with like 10 other people and together we raise N22 million, we all can buy and renovate that particular property and start enjoying cash flow from it. It simply means that 11 of us will share the profit based on the returns we get per year. That is what we are currently offering people right now, taking it to the market place, so that people can take advantage. We have already people buying into the idea and investing in real estate.

This also means that if I want to invest in a property in Lekki, I don’t need to have all the money for the property to invest in it, but it simply gives me an opportunity to invest in high quality real estate investment that may take me so many years of savings to be able to invest. So, we don’t just want to make opportunity for only those who can afford to buy plots of lands to make money, we also want those who have little means to also be able to invest in properties and make money. Why is it that it is easier for plumbers to own houses while a banker remains a tenant for a very long time? This is so because the plumber is thinking in terms of cash flow while the banker is thinking in terms of building and owning and so he waits for so long till he is able to save a huge amount to buy or build a house.

This is information that people in this sector may hardly want to give out so freely. So why and how are you doing this?

I have been using every platform available to me. I have been using the social media a lot to create awareness and I have been crazy about it and I know a lot of people that have taken this raw information and duplicate it for their own benefits and presently are having numerous properties around town.

This is to tell you that this actually works. It is better we cover this nation with success than preventing people from being successful because a lot of people have success but hide the secret of their success from others. The real estate market is too wide for me to hide anything. We have over 17 million people having housing problems in Nigeria; even I alone cannot serve half a million people. The market is too wide so there is no need for competition.

We hold seminars regularly on this. We just concluded one last week called the Rental Income Plan. It is all about helping people to understand how they can do these things on their own. People can be part of this by registering on our website, www.afping.com. We are thinking of holding these conferences at least once in two months, where we gather people in a class to learn. They don’t have to be real estate experts but those who are ready to take the opportunity in the real estate sector.

Husband and wives can also take advantage of this. We also do one-on-one training, leading people by their hand and helping them to explore the real estate market. And if someone says he doesn’t have the time because he has a regular job, then he/she can invest with us and grow with us. And investing in real estate is predictable, tangible and indestructible. That is why I am inviting everybody to do it and you don’t necessarily have to invest with me, you can do it on your own. I started doing this when I didn’t even have full information about the sector but for the fact that I had opportunities. So those whose eyes are opened to opportunities can take advantage of the real estate market.

How do you guarantee security for such investments and is the training free of charge?

Some amount of money is attached to the trainings because we bring in experts to coach these people. And the training one gets involved in also determines the amount one pays. When it is a class, that is a group of people, we give discounts. So the fee ranges from 50,000-750,000 naira depending on which class you want to attend. We also do executive class whereby after the class, you can pick a particular property and we would guide you by the hand, that means that we would follow you to where the property is, secure the property, negotiate the deal with the property owner and then show you by example how we do it.

And talking about security, we have, in the last seven years, been privileged to have sold more than 2,000 plots of lands; so what we do is that the same way we secure people’s property is also the same way we secure people’s investments. So you are not investing into any real estate project that is not insured. We are working with several insurance companies to ensure that people’s investments are secured and that they do not lose their investments in case of negligence on the part of the developers. So that is one of the ways we are guarding against people experiencing loss in their investments.

This Day

We need more flexible housing for 21st-century lives

The Great Australian Dream, underpinned by private home ownership, is a concept from the 19th and 20th centuries. Our housing stock was, and continues to be, designed and built for people who lived in previous centuries. The result is housing that discriminates and excludes, and that is becoming increasingly unaffordable. We need 21st-century housing that responds to the needs of 21st-century living.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) report on 21st-century housing careers points to factors that are unique to 21st-century lives and which have direct  impacts on housing. The greatest of these impacts is the risk society, a term originally defined by sociologist Ulrich Beck. As the AHURI report observes:

Change within economic and social structures has eroded the certainties of the previous Fordist or industrial society and resulted in a process of “individualisation” where individuals and households are increasingly confronted by the risks – and opportunities – of a rapidly changing social and economic environment.

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These risks come in many forms: limited opportunities for ongoing employment, an ageing population and the uncertainty of old age, or separation and divorce from a partner. All these factors can significantly alter housing circumstances.

Without digging too deeply into the literature on Australian housing in the 21st century, it seems obvious that workforce casualisation and the gig economy are incompatible with 30-year bank loans for a fixed asset such as a house. Existing approaches to housing, from apartments to detached dwellings, are too inflexible. Instead, we need options for housing that are more flexible and can accommodate the risks associated with 21st-century living.

This might go some way to explaining the popularity of the Tiny House Movement. Tiny houses provide the flexibility required in 21st-century lives. They are mobile, can be packed away and stored, and are assets that can be liquidated much more easily than a house.

However, small living is not for everyone. There are design-led solutions for flexible housing that don’t require people to move into cramped quarters.

Two examples of flexible housing can be found in Brisbane.

One Room Tower (2017) in West End, designed by Phorm architecture + design with Silvia Micheli and Antony Moulis, is an addition to an existing inner-city house. Instead of adding to the house in the traditional manner, One Room Tower is a detached pavilion carefully designed with an open layout. The extra space can be adapted to provide many different uses to suit the needs of its inhabitants.

This innovative design, which provides much-needed flexibility, recently won a Queensland Architecture Award.

Another example is in the suburb of Clayfield. Two Pavilion House (2014) was designed by Kirsty Volz and David Toussaint. The house is split into two pavilions joined by a communal outdoor space and an internal courtyard.

This design provides flexible modes of occupation: it can be occupied as a single detached three-bedroom dwelling, or as a two-bedroom house with a self-contained bedsit. The result is a house that can be occupied by a multigenerational family, provide rental income, incorporate a home office, or a second living area.

It’s not just room layouts that provide the flexibility in these houses. They require careful consideration in the design process to develop. Things to be considered include: the sequences of access (entering and leaving a house and/or room); the adjacencies of rooms, so as to maintain privacy, security and adequate fire separation; and the provision of services such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, some of which can be shared.

Both of these houses provide for flexible living arrangements while still complying with the requirements of building regulations.

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A growing number of housing solutions are meeting the need for multigenerational housing, providing accommodation for ageing parents or adult children. Granny flats are a good example.

However, some of these solutions do not meet building regulations. It is a concern if these houses fail to provide adequate health and safety, fire separation, or security to protect belongings. Carefully designed, fit-for-purpose dwellings that safely provide options for multiple and varied occupancies are needed.

It is also time for some local authorities to re-evaluate regulations, and consider how these might safely match the need for flexible and adaptable accommodation.

Flexible, “loose fit” housing will provide greater diversity in accommodation. And, by doing so, it will be more inclusive of a broader cross-section of society – diverse housing for a diverse society.

Flexible housing also has the potential to be a design-led solution to housing affordability, by adapting housing to suit the needs of everyone in the risk society.

Existing housing stock is designed around the numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms that appeal to the market and so fails to be responsive to what people need from housing in the 21st century.

Kirsty Volz

Home Mortgage

Home Mortgage is a loan given by a bank, mortgage company or other financial institution for the purchase of a primary or investment residence. In a home mortgage, the owner of the property (the borrower) transfers the title to the lender on the condition that the title will be transferred back to the owner once the payment has been made and other terms of the mortgage have been met.

A home mortgage will have either a fixed or floating interest rate, which is paid monthly along with a contribution to the principal loan amount. As the homeowner pays down the principal over time, the interest is calculated on a smaller base so that future mortgage payments apply more towards principal reduction as opposed to just paying the interest charges. In order to estimate the total cost of your monthly mortgage payments, it’s beneficial to use an online mortgage calculator.

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Home mortgages allow a much broader group of citizens the chance to own real estate, as the entire sum of the house doesn’t have to be provided up front. But because the lender actually holds the title for as long as the mortgage is in effect, they have the right to foreclose the home (sell it on the open market) if the borrower can’t make the payments.

A home mortgage is one of the most common forms of debt, and it is also one of the most advised. Mortgage loans come with lower interest rates than almost any other kind of debt an individual consumer can find.

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Home mortgages range from 10 to 30 years and the two main types of home mortgage loans are fixed rate and adjustable rate. In a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate and the periodic payment are generally the same each period. In an adjustable-rate home mortgage, the interest rate and periodic payment vary. Interest rates on adjustable-rate home mortgages are generally lower than fixed-rate home mortgages because the borrower bears the risk of an increase in interest rates.

To obtain a mortgage, the person seeking the loan must submit an application and information about his or her financial history to a lender, which is done to show the lender that the borrower is capable of repaying the loan. Sometimes, borrowers look to a mortgage broker for help in choosing a lender. When the borrower and the lender agree on the terms of the home mortgage, the lender puts a lien on the home as collateral for the loan. This means that if the borrower defaults on the mortgage, the lender may take possession of the house, which is called foreclosure.

Investopedia

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