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Madison Finance Committee Recommends $4.1 Million for Affordable Housing

The Madison Finance Committee on Monday unanimously recommended providing $4.1 million to help fund three affordable housing projects on the East and Far West sides.

Committee members also delayed a vote on a $40 vehicle registration fee Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has proposed as part of her 2019 operating budget and wants implemented early next year, and heard criticisms of her $340.4 million spending plan from residents concerned about the impact it would have on the Madison Police Department.

The three affordable housing developments would leverage $3.225 million from the city’s Affordable Housing fund and $900,000 in federal funds to create about 200 affordable housing units:

  • Up to $1.7 million for a 111-unit apartment complex with 94 affordable units by MSP Real Estate Inc. at 1212 Huxley St.
  • Up to $1.4 million for an 87-unit apartment complex with 73 affordable units by Age Better Inc. and Gorman & Co. at 8552 Elderberry Road.
  • Up to $1.025 million for a 38-unit apartment complex with 32 affordable units by Movin’ Out Inc. at 2340 Winnebago St.

Jim O’Keefe, the city’s community development director, said all of the affordable units would be for those with incomes at or below 60% of the county median income, or $49,560 for a family of three, but that some units would be affordable for those at 50% or 30% of the county median income.

Budget concerns

Criticisms of the mayor’s budget proposal on Monday centered around its lack of funding to hire more police officers and its plan to move parking enforcement officers out of the Police Department and into the city’s Parking Utility.

In July, former Police Chief Mike Koval said keeping police staffing flat will necessitate moving 12 positions back into regular patrol from units focused on neighborhood policing, gangs and other proactive work.

“I’m here to ask for more police officers to be added to the operating budget,” said resident Wendy Reichel. She said forcing more officers to go on patrol will negatively impact police-community relations, reduce traffic stops for speeding or running red lights, and make neighborhoods less safe.

Rebecca Mugford, a parking enforcement officer, said she feared how her job would be affected if she were employed by the Parking Utility instead of the Police Department.

Kelly Powers, president of the Madison Professional Police Officers Association, said being housed under the Police Department gives parking officers access to important tools including the police radio and databases used to identify people, vehicle ownership and property.

Powers said losing those tools would put parking enforcement officers in a “compromised position.”

Parking enforcement officer Michael Parker said losing the tools would prevent him from identifying stolen vehicles. He said he found 50 last year.

Walt Jackson, vice president of the City of Madison Employees Association, which includes parking officers, said this is how the majority of stolen vehicles are found. He also noted that parking officers are part of the “family of MPD.”

The committee will finish hearing budget presentations from city departments on Thursday, and will then get a chance to propose amendments to the budget. Thursday is also when it will take up the wheel tax. Rhodes-Conway would like to see the timeline for implementing the fee accelerated so that the city could begin collecting it in February.

Adamawa Assembly Approves N9.9 Billion Loan For Construction of 2,000 Houses

Adamawa House of Assembly has approved request by Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri to secure N9.9 billion loan for the construction of 2,000 housing units for civil servants across the state.

The loan is to be secured from Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL).
Approval for the loan followed the reading of the letter of request from the governor by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Iya-Abbas at the Monday plenary.

According to Fintiri, the loan is payable in 12 years with five years moratorium.

He said that the company on completion of the houses would partner with the state government to provide mortgage to civil servants, to enable them buy the houses.

Housing News reports that the House also approved the executive request for the restructuring of the repayment period of a N6 billion loan, collected by the immediate past Muhammadu Bindow-led administration, from 24 months to 36 months.

Lawan advocates local contents in engineering projects

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has canvassed for the application of local contents in all engineering projects undertaken in the country.

He stated this in Abuja at a book launch on “Engineering and Sustainable Rural Development In Nigeria” which was authored by Engineer Ahmed Amshi.

Lawan, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi, also made a strong case for rural dwellers.

He said, “I believe in the local contents and I think it is high time we insist on the local contents when it affects our engineering projects in this country.

“After all even if we don’t insist on the local contents, those big companies use Nigerian engineers.

“The bulk of the work, the real engineering work, is done by Nigerian engineers. So we must insist on local contents.”

Lawan promised to take up the issue of local contents at the Senate as a good ambassador of the engineering profession.

He noted that Nigerians have always given a good account of themselves anywhere in the world and in all fields of endeavour.

He urged Nigerians to believe in themselves as they are the only ones who can develop Nigeria.

He said, “Nigerians are the people to develop Nigeria. Nobody else will help us develop our country.

“Nobody will get us out of our misery, our challenges but ourselves. So we should believe in ourselves,” Lawan said.

Commenting on the title of the book, Lawan said for Nigeria to develop at all, the process must start with the development of the rural areas.

He said the bulk of the population resides in the rural areas.

He said, “Therefore if there is anything we have to do, it’s for us to target the rural areas.

“Our farmers deserve every intervention. Our farmers and those in rural areas deserve every kind of subsidy.

“Other countries have achieved greatness because they face the reality of development.

“They subsidise farming, particularly for those that have chosen to stay in the rural areas.

“Therefore as a government, we don’t have too many options but to face the reality that the rural areas have to be attended to properly,” Lawan said.

AUHF Set to Hold 2019 Housing Finance Course for Sub-Saharan Africa in September

African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) – an association of mortgage banks, building societies, microfinance institutions and banks, housing corporations and other organizations involved in the mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing on the African continent has announced the official date of the 2019 Housing Finance Course for Sub-Saharan Africa.

This year’s edition of the annual housing finance course of one week for Sub Sahara Africa in Cape Town, South Africa will hold from 29th September to 5th October, the association has revealed.

According to Kecia Rust, Executive Secretary of the association, the course, is in collaboration with International Union for Housing Finance.

The courses will focus on; The role of housing in an economy; The role of finance in housing markets; Building blocks of a housing finance system; The state of housing finance in Sub-Saharan Africa; Overview of housing finance products; The business of housing finance; Profitability, risks and risk management; Funding sources for housing finance: Role of capital market funding; Safety and soundness of financial institutions: the regulatory environment; Expanding housing finance to underserved markets: housing micro finance; Using subsidies to expand housing markets & housing finance systems.

The AUHF was established as a member based body of housing lenders in 1984. Today, AUHF comprises of 49 members from 16 countries across the continent.

As an industry body, the AUHF promotes the development of effective housing finance markets, and the delivery of affordable housing across Africa, working in the interests of both the members and the industry as a whole.

The association supports its members in realising their vision, through networking and deal facilitation, information collection and dissemination, lobbying and advocacy, and capacity building and training.

Closing date for application is 1st of September 2019.

How Nigeria’s Minister of Housing Can Attract Foreign Investment for the Sector

Stakeholders and professionals in the Nigeria housing and construction sector are unanimous in the observation that one of the greatest challenges faced by the sector is the lack of adequate funding to transform ideas into practical solutions.

While access to housing is an unprecedented global challenge growing fast with rapid urbanisation, the housing problem is more pronounced in emerging markets like that of Nigeria.

The biggest challenges faced by emerging markets like that of Nigeria are fragmentation and inability to meet unprecedented volumes of housing deficit; Inability to align stakeholders and catalyse grassroots impact; challenges in making the economics work, and in a number of cases, housing initiatives are driven by governments who face enormous treasury challenges.

Foreign Direct investments, as important as they are, are attracted more by regions where domestic capital is already being applied to unbridle the potential in these economies. It is therefore very important for Nigeria’s minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola to get the ball rolling in terms of seeing that local investments are up and running in the sector.

In addition to strong economic fundamentals, local capital is required to de-risk opportunities and prove their viability to international investors

The application of local capital ahead of FDI plays an important role for the sustained growth of local enterprise in an economy.

According to some stakeholders, transforming the huge housing need in Nigeria into bankable opportunity will require public and private sector involvement

FDI they say, has to be deployed in key areas of the value chain to have the most impact in order to stimulate home production and ownership.

Foreign capital when applied appropriately can improve an economy’s capacity to create affordable mortgages. The creation of mortgages has a huge multiplier effect in stimulating the production of lower middle income and affordable housing because it gives investors a clear exit path.

Foreign capital is better attracted to opportunities where local capital (public or private sector) has been used to de-risk them.

The first tenure of Babatunde Raji Fashola saw him undertake a pilot National Housing Programme which led to a nationwide housing construction in various states of the federation. According to the minister, while giving account of his service mentioned that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries as well as contributors to nation building. It is therefore important that unlike previous housing programmes in Nigeria, this one should not be abandoned, but reinvigorated and adapted to prevailing challenges in a way that more results can be achieved and more houses built for the poor who needs them the most. According to Housing Development Advocacy Network, the projects that are ongoing should be completed and new ones initiated, and must be affordable for those that genuinely need the houses.

Another fundamental issue that if addressed can boost the confidence of investors is that of enabling policies that need to be either amended or introduced. For example, it is very important for the land use act to be amended to make land administration and its access easy for investors and developers. This has been an ongoing argument, and it is time for a headway. There is also need to pass the foreclosure law to enable a legal framework for addressing challenges relating to mortgage default etc. The issue of policy framework is not limited to these two, as there are pending policies that if passed or amended can greatly improve the working environment for investors. The minister therefore needs to engage in a lobby process that will enable the passage and amendment of these and many more policies.

This will be very critical for the kind of progress needed in the housing sector and macro-economic policy that supports liberalisation play an important role in attracting foreign capital inflows.

Why Fashola’s Second Term As Minister Should Focus on Low Cost Housing

Why has the multiple housing initiatives implemented by Nigeria over the years failed to be of any significant impact to the country’s humongous housing needs? A lot of people blame it on corruption, others blame it on bad policies, and they are both right. As a matter of fact, the two influences each other.

A housing policy that is not well thought out and measured to satisfy the needs of the majority who needs those houses wouldn’t achieve much. A lot of experts in the housing policy sector believe that most housing projects in Nigeria over decades have only served the need of the minority rich, in disregard of the majority poor. That is where the problem lies.

Majority of Nigeria’s 200 million people live in urban slums and unfit houses, while the rich occupy overpriced estates in a few cities. While the equation presents a recipe for social disaster, the political elite do not feel the urgent need to turn things around for the better.

It has become increasingly important for the government, both at the federal and state levels to strengthen housing and urban development policies to accommodate households’ social demographic characteristics.

A lot of stakeholders have expressed concerns over the present approach and policy, which allowed unfettered market forces in determining housing consumption. Some have also warned that the policy would not achieve the desired results of access to decent, safe and affordable housing for all Nigerians.

The call is for the introduction of more social housing schemes like Family Homes Funds to take care of the needy that cannot take care of their housing needs on their own. The social housing scheme must be vigorously pursued for the sake of the vulnerable that are majority in the country.

The first tenure of Babatunde Raji Fashola saw him undertake a pilot National Housing Programme which led to a nationwide housing construction in various states of the federation. According to the minister, while giving account of his service mentioned that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries as well as contributors to nation building.

It is therefore important that unlike previous housing programmes in Nigeria, this one should not be abandoned, but reinvigorated and adapted to prevailing challenges in a way that more results can be achieved and more houses built for the poor who needs them the most. According to Housing Development Advocacy Network, the projects that are ongoing should be completed and new ones initiated, and must be affordable for those that genuinely need the houses.

President Buhari has frequently spoken about his passion for the poor, and many believe that the greatest way to show this, especially under the Next Level government is to address one of the most important, yet near impossible needs of the poor masses – housing.

There is high expectation for the government and the minister of works and housing to implement policies and projects that will enable the construction of mass affordable housing for the poorest majority in the country. Only this can trigger the most revolutionary growth needed in the country’s economic sector, which will in turn attract local and foreign investments.

Nigerian government reaffirms commitment to housing delivery


The Nigerian Government has reiterated its commitment to provide affordable housing especially among public servants in the country.The Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Dr Hannatu Fika stated this when she led a delegation of the board members on a courtesy visit to the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, Mr Ahmed Kangiwa, in Abuja.

Dr Fika said that the visit was to allow the Loans Board and FMBN to talk and find ways of ensuring that more public servants owned decent houses.

“Each time you listen to Mr President talk about social welfare issues, housing is always mentioned. So, how do the two of us, FMBN and FGSHLB come together to support the programmes of the present government especially at this next level?,” she asked.

She noted that the partnership between the two bodies had been a success story especially the 2.6 billion naira approved and released to 3,034 public servants in loan, for renovation of houses.

“In 2015, you know, we started off and since then happily for the civil servants, you know they are the recipients, around 3,034 public servants as of today, have had 1million naira and slightly below, approved for them which the aggregate comes up to about 2.6 billion naira. It’s a very heart warming thing and we thought having been successful in this partnership, we thought it was ideal for us to come back to the Federal Mortgage Bank where we started. Thank you very much for making this available to the public servants,” Dr Fika added.

The Executive Secretary however said despite the achievements recorded, there is more to be done in the provision of housing for public Servants.

“I am aware that you have this project of Rent-to-own product which you have started practicalising, however, you know more civil servants will own homes if we are able to partner, because we have been brainstorming in it and we found out that when you give a house to a civil servant and then you are expecting them to pay in something, in form of rent so that they can be reducing the balance that is outstanding against them, there will be some challenges, so we thought why don’t we continue with our partnership because we are already successful partners we can also come up with this” she said.

The Managing Director, FMBN, Mr Kangiwa said that the visit was timely owing to the increasing demand by public servants to own houses adding that it was part of the strategic focus of the bank to strengthen the partnership with stakeholders in order to promote the mutual understanding for the achievements and purpose for which the bank was established.

“The FGSHLB is a critical stakeholder in the National Housing Fund because it partners with the bank through intermediation between the bank and Federal civil servants, especially for the home renovation loans that was well conceived,” he explained.

He encouraged more civil servants to key into the National Housing Fund to own a house through mortgage.

“The FGSHLB being the housing outfit for the civil servants is of interest to the FMBN and we will continue to support you to get loans for the civil servants”.

“Any federal civil servant that belongs to a cooperative can approach the bank through a selected developer to get their construction loan,” the Managing Director assured.

Mr Kangiwa also said the bank has introduced the Rent-to-own product with houses in over 20 States of the Federation and is available and accessible to all State and Federal civil servants.

“Its one of the housing projects we have off loaded under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme, FISH.” he added.

by HousingNews

Dubai launches new initiative to open up property investment market

Real Estate Investment Opportunities initiative aims to attract ‘a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE’

Dubai Land Department (DLD) on Tuesday announced the launch of a new initiative which aims to attract a wider range of real estate investors to the emirate.

Under the Real Estate Investment Opportunities (REIOs) initiative, several investment products will be launched including collective real estate investment funds, partial title deeds procedures to register units owned by a number of partners, a lease-to-own system and investment portfolio applications.

A law is currently being drafted for real estate investment portfolios that is still under accreditation and review by the concerned parties, DLD said in a statement.

The launch comes as Dubai witnessed an 8 percent increase in real estate transactions during the first quarter of 2019 to AED119 billion compared to the year-earlier period.

DLD added that the number of active investors reached 2,800 during the quarter with a “large number of new investors” entering the Dubai real estate market for the first time.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of DLD, said: “We are proud to launch a new investment package that enhances the attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate environment, reaching a wider horizon of global leadership through which we will formulate new visions, especially with Expo 2020 around the corner.

“Unveiling REIOs reflects the positive impact of innovative ideas in the real estate sector.”

A special office has been approved at DLD to facilitate and unify all registration and follow-up procedures for this initiative, he added in a statement.

DLD said it will also approve a set of special privileges relating to real estate registration and its terms, and a special electronic contact website will be established.

Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), said: “This initiative will help us emerge from the traditional patterns of property buying, selling, and registration. These processes require us to embrace technology and change, both of which paved the path to launching real estate products with the participation of developers to attract new investors.

“Previously, the real estate market targeted a certain class of investors – the wealthy. Today, however, through these four products, we seek to cover a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE, and allow them to own properties in Dubai and benefit from high returns on investments.”

Source: arabianbusiness

NMRC Bags Market Information Data Award at Nigeria Housing Awards

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has bagged a Housing Market Information Data Registration Award at the just concluded Nigeria Housing Awards (NHA) 2019 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The prestigious award was in recognition of NMRC’s innovative market innovation with respect to housing market information and data.

While receiving the award on behalf of the Managing Director, NMRC’s Head of ICT and Business Process Operations, Mr Taofeeq Olatinwo noted that the accomplishment was an industry wide testament to NMRC’s contributions to Excellence in Housing Finance & Construction.

NMRC has been in the forefront of driving housing market intelligence as a key area of activity and focus, within which it has developed a Mortgage Market Information Portal (MMIP). The NMRC MMIP portal is a decision-making tool that supports the growth of affordable housing and housing finance markets in Nigeria. The NMRC MMIP, is currently the repository for the National Real Estate Data Collation Programme making it a primal point of call for industry stakeholders seeking relevant and timely data on Nigeria’s housing sector.

As part of the Company’s attainment in Housing Data, NMRC had earlier in 2016 partnered with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to execute a first of its kind Housing Market survey across six geopolitical zones and involved data gathering, policy evaluation and impact assessment for decision making and investment in the mortgage and housing industry.

NMRC is a CBN-licensed mortgage liquidity facility with the core mandate of developing the primary and secondary mortgage markets. NMRC raises long-term funds from the capital market for mortgage refinancing and by extension promotes affordable housing development and home ownership in Nigeria. NMRC was incorporated on 24th June 2013 and obtained its final license to operate as a non-deposit taking financial institution from the CBN on 18th February 2015.

The Nigeria Housing Awards marked the end of the 13th Abuja International Housing Show which hosted over 30 international speakers from at least 15 countries. The award which held on the 26th July 2019 celebrated a number of excellent performers in the industry in the year under review.

Private renters living in hazardous homes thanks to ‘weak regulations’, says Citizens Advice

Hundreds of thousands of tenants in England are living in hazardous homes with problems such mould or faulty fire alarms due to “weak and confusing” regulation, according to Citizens Advice.

The charity found that almost one in three tenants surveyed said their house did not have a carbon monoxide alarm despite requiring one. That equates to 900,000 homes across the UK.

Three-fifths of tenants identified disrepair in their home during the last two years that was not caused by them and that their landlord was responsible for fixing. One in six of those said the disrepair was a major threat to their health and safety.

Citizens Advice also polled landlords, finding widespread gaps in knowledge of their legal responsibilities to tenants.

A quarter of landlords failed to ensure that there was a smoke alarm on each floor of all of their properties.

Almost half (49 per cent) did not know they face a penalty of up to £5,000 for not checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order on the first day of the tenancy. The same proportion didn’t know the penalty for not carrying out a gas safety check.

“Too many private renters live in hazardous homes – often with potentially fatal flaws,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

“Weak and confusing regulation means landlords can struggle to understand their legal obligations, while tenants find it hard to get problems in their homes resolved.

It suggests creating a home “MOT”, setting a “fit-and-proper-person” test for landlords and standardising rental contracts.

The government has made reforms in the private rented sector in recent years, such as laws to ensure all rented homes are fit to be lived in, banning most tenant fees, and proposed the abolition of “no-fault” section 21 evictions.

But Citizens Advice claims that renters still lack the power they need to ensure standards are consistent, and landlords and tenants lack the knowledge they need for standards to be upheld.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It is truly alarming that so many private renters are living in homes which aren’t up to scratch and compromise their safety. A safe home is a basic standard that every renter has the right to expect.

“It’s critical that every landlord is aware of their responsibilities and stays in step with the new Fitness for Human Habitation Act, which sets out standards to keep renters safe.

“But if landlords don’t follow these rules, renters should be armed with the power to challenge their poor behaviour.

“That’s why the government’s planned ban on no-fault evictions must become law as quickly as possible, so that private renters can speak up about safety concerns without living in fear of a revenge eviction.”

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