NIESV Warns Govt Against Playing Politics With Housing Provisions

Mr. Rowland Abonta, the President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, on Saturday declared that Nigeria is breeding criminals’ with wrong housing provision.

Abonta therefore called on Federal government and stakeholders in the housing sector to stop playing politics with the issue of housing, and engage in proper planning towards solving the problems of housing deficit in the country.

The NIESV President spoke during the Inaugural meeting of 2019/2020 National Council of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Abuja.

He maintained that Nigeria would become a better nation the moment stakeholders stopped playing politics with housing issues.

“If you allow me, I will call on government, and call on people of Nigeria to be honest with the issue of housing. It is not a political statement. It is a human requirement ranked as number two amongst human needs. The day we stop playing politics with it, the day we stop joking with it, then we will be a better nation.

“People do not know the ripple effects, a man who woke up in an indecent environment, brought up in an indecent environment, when he comes out the tendency is for him to be annoyed with nature, the criminal elements of today had a very poor background. Nigeria is breeding criminals with wrong housing provision. And the moment we stop then, we will do better.

“The biggest challenge in the housing sector is the issue of planning. If you plan for nothing, you also target at nothing. Over the years, housing has been made a political issue such that every administration that comes into power spends some huge money which is not based on any indices at all.

They do not know what they are providing for, neither do they attain the goal they set for themselves. But at the end of the day, some budget has been spent.

“So where to start is to plan for housing. Where do you start with? It is to know what you need, which brings us to the issue of proper housing survey,” he said.

He said the 17 million housing deficit being bandied about may not be correct because there was no empirical basis that gave rise to the figure.

He maintained that housing survey is necessary to determine the housing stock, and the existing housing needs in the country, adding that adequate planning will bring all other problems into proper perspective.

Abonta warned that it would be impossible for low income earners to own their houses with the kind of housing arrangements and financing available in the country.

Source: Independedntng

Proposed Rule Could Evict 55,000 Children From Subsidized Housing

Tens of thousands of poor children — all of them American citizens or legal residents — could lose their housing under a new rule proposed Friday by the Trump administration.

 

The rule is intended to prevent people who are in the country illegally from receiving federal housing aid, which the administration argues should go to help only legal residents or citizens.

 

But the proposal targets 25,000 families that now receive such aid because they are of “mixed” status, which means that at least one member of the family is undocumented while the others are citizens or legal residents. These families now pay higher rents to account for their mixed status.

 

Under the new rule, those families would lose all of their housing aid, such as vouchers and public housing.

An impact analysis by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which proposed the rule, acknowledges that the change could have a devastating impact. It says that 108,000 people would be affected. About 70% of them are citizens or legal residents and three-quarters of those — 55,000 — are children.

Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, called the proposal cruel. “The cruelty of it is really breathtaking and it would do real harm to kids and to families and for what?” Yentel notes that HUD’s unusually frank analysis concludes that there would be few benefits from the change for other low-income families waiting for aid.

 

The analysis, prepared by career staff, says the agency assumes that some of the affected families would split up because the ineligible family member would be asked to leave so the rest of the family could still receive aid. But it says most of the families would likely move out of their subsidized homes.

“HUD expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households, whether that fear is justified,” says the agency.

 

It admits that not all families would leave freely. The agency estimates it would have to spend between 3 million and 4 million dollars on eviction costs, “for those households that required more rigorous enforcement of the regulation.”

The proposed rule change is one of several the Trump administration has made that targets immigrants and restricts public assistance of all kinds. Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, called the proposal “as mean-spirited and irrational as the Trump Administration’s other anti-immigrant policy positions.”

But HUD Secretary Ben Carson portrayed the proposed change as a way to help low-income Americans who are in need of housing assistance. “Our nation faces affordable housing challenges and hundreds of thousands of citizens are waiting for many years on waitlists to get housing assistance,” he tweeted last month.

Housing advocates doubt that families now waiting for aid would benefit. And the HUD analysis seem to back that up. It notes that mixed families generally get lower subsidies and would likely be replaced with families who need higher subsidies. “The average income of a mixed household is $18,000,” the analysis says, “and the average income of a nonmixed household is $14,000; the difference is $4,000. On average, the subsidy would increase by 30 percent of the decline in household income, or $1,200.”

HUD estimates that this would cost the government as much as $227 million a year, money that Congress would need to appropriate, which the agency says is unlikely.

Instead, it predicts a reduction in housing assistance overall.

“Another, and perhaps the likeliest scenario, would be that HUD would have to reduce the quantity and quality of assisted housing in response to higher costs,” says the agency. For public housing, that would likely “have an impact on the quality of service, e.g., maintenance of the units and possibly deterioration of the units that could lead to vacancy.”

The agency says that in some cases, the proposed rule could lead to more homelessness. “Temporary homelessness could arise for a household, if they are unable to find alternative housing, for example in tight housing markets,” says HUD. The cost of that homelessness is estimated to be from $20,000 to $50,000 a year, per individual.

The analysis raises the possibility of alternative rule changes that could ease the impact on poor families. One would be to grandfather all the current mixed families receiving aid and only apply the rule going forward. Another possibility would be to apply the rule only to households in which the leaseholder is undocumented. HUD says this “would likely limit the adverse impact of the transition on eligible children.”

The administration is accepting public comment on the proposed rule until July 9.

Housing Plan to Reduce Red Tape, Development Fees

The Housing Supply Action Plan, which was released by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark earlier this week, will attempt to correct the imbalance between the strong demand for housing and the limited supply of houses and apartments across the province, according to the Ontario government.

he Housing Supply Action Plan, which was released by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark earlier this week, will attempt to correct the imbalance between the strong demand for housing and the limited supply of houses and apartments across the province, according to the Ontario government.

The shortages are certainly apparent in Kingston. In 2018, the city’s rental vacancy rate was 0.6 per cent, and the Royal LePage House Price Survey released last month said demand for houses locally is exceeding supply.

The house price survey found the aggregate house price in Kingston continued rising in the first quarter of 2019, 10.3 per cent year-over-year to $391,427, while during the quarter the median price of a bungalow rose 14.8 per cent year-over-year to $375,266.

As well, houses in the $275,000 to $325,000 range locally are in such high demand that buyers are often offering more than the sellers’ asking price.

Kyle Nielissen, first vice-president of the Kingston Home Builders Association, said in an email they support the action plan consultation.

“Streamlining the development approval process and lowering development fees will reduce costs and time to market leading to more affordable housing and additional housing stock,” he said. “This in turn will support a growing and healthy economy.”

The plan also promises to reduce red tape and make it easier to build all types of housing.

“Creating more housing, of the types and sizes people need, will help make home ownership and renting more affordable and give people more choice,” a release on the Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing website said.

Some of the policies the Ontario government is proposing to streamline the process to build houses and apartments include speeding up the approval process for development projects and lowering development costs, lifting some restrictions on where houses can be built, assisting both landlords and tenants, and creating innovative forms of home ownership.

The shortages are certainly apparent in Kingston. In 2018, the city’s rental vacancy rate was 0.6 per cent, and the Royal LePage House Price Survey released last month said demand for houses locally is exceeding supply.

The house price survey found the aggregate house price in Kingston continued rising in the first quarter of 2019, 10.3 per cent year-over-year to $391,427, while during the quarter the median price of a bungalow rose 14.8 per cent year-over-year to $375,266.

As well, houses in the $275,000 to $325,000 range locally are in such high demand that buyers are often offering more than the sellers’ asking price.

Kyle Nielissen, first vice-president of the Kingston Home Builders Association, said in an email they support the action plan consultation.

“Streamlining the development approval process and lowering development fees will reduce costs and time to market leading to more affordable housing and additional housing stock,” he said. “This in turn will support a growing and healthy economy.”

The plan also promises to reduce red tape and make it easier to build all types of housing.

“Creating more housing, of the types and sizes people need, will help make home ownership and renting more affordable and give people more choice,” a release on the Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing website said.

Some of the policies the Ontario government is proposing to streamline the process to build houses and apartments include speeding up the approval process for development projects and lowering development costs, lifting some restrictions on where houses can be built, assisting both landlords and tenants, and creating innovative forms of home ownership.

By Ian MacAlpine

30,258 Civil Servants Have Benefitted from FG Staff Housing Loan

30,258 Civil Servants have benefitted from housing loans granted by the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) since 1954 when the board officially started granting housing loans to civil servants.

This was revealed on Tuesday by the Board’s Executive Secretary, Dr Hannatu Adamu Fika during a press briefing in Abuja.

While speaking on her stewardship since she came into office in 2009, Fika said that prior to that time (2009), only 12,538 housing loans were granted by previous administrations since 1954 when the board officially started given housing loans to civil servants.

‘’For over 50 years, the board was only able to deliver 12,538 loans to civil servants, but since we came in in 2009, we have been able to on our own surpass that number and have enabled 17,720 civil servants obtain their own homes through our loans scheme. This is what has brought the total number to 30,258,’’ she said.

Fika who will be leaving office by the end of October this year stated that under her tenure so far, the board has been able to achieve reasonable results with regards to the board’s mandates.

She revealed that since 2010, the board has been partnering with private property developers who build the houses demanded by the civil servants.

‘’We relate with the property developers through the civil servants themselves who must have recommended them worthy enough. So far, these property developers have built a lot of estates including 10 in Abuja for civil servants,’’ she said.

The board according to her has established a well-structured payment unit that take responsibility for civil servants repayment of the loan without any room for default.

‘’We have an arrangement with SunTrust Bank to manage and track all the loans that have been obtained.’’

The board has also come to the aid of civil servants who got some housing loans that were too expensive for them to pay back. According to her, the board was able buy back some of those loans, notably from Aso Savings Bank.

The performance of the board according to her has been able to convince the government to improve on their allocation over the past years. From a meagre N80 million in the past, the board now gets up to N2 billion naira budgetary allocation.

In terms of partnership, they have been able to partner with Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to deliver homes for civil servants in Lagos and Abuja. For staffs who also wish to take homes renovation loans, the board has also been able to work with the Federal Mortgage Bank to meet that need.

Speaking about agendas that are in progress, she said that there is an ongoing demand before the National Assembly to repeal the law establishing the board in order to address some critical areas that are not contained in the current act of establishment.

‘’For example, there is no limit of tenure for the executive secretary of the board, hence, the need for legislation that will specifically state the number of tenures that an executive secretary is supposed to serve.

‘’We also need the law to permit the board to extends its partnership, especially in the area of funding, so that it can have access to private sector funding in order to build more homes for civil servants.

‘’Though we are currently located in the Head of Service, but there is still a provision in our establishment that states that the board should answer to the minister of housing. These are some of the issues we have presented before the legislature for amendment, and so far, there is some progress,’’ she said.

The board is also currently working on a partnership relationship with Shelter Afrique, and is also developing an online application portal for all civil servants seeking housing loans in order to make the process less cumbersome and complaint with 21st century procedures.

By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja

Ghana’s Housing Deficit to Reduce by 100k

Government has entered into an agreement with two firms – CH Africa and Rascopat Ghana – to build 100, 000 houses across Ghana.

The move is aimed at reducing the country’s housing deficit which currently stands at two million units.

The houses will be built under the Clever HouseTM housing and construction technology which ensures the construction of a complete house in less than 10 days.

Works and Housing Minister Samuel Atta Akyea said engineers at the Ministry have certified the integrity of the buildings under the project.

Speaking at a ceremony to outdoor the Clever House and Construction Technology, Mr. Atta-Akyea said this move and others which are ongoing will ensure the housing challenge in the country is tackled head on. He believes this is the surest way of sustainable economic growth.

The Technology

The Clever HouseTM housing and construction technology is a German engineering designed to fix the huge global housing deficit and to meet the demand for affordable high quality housing.

It is the smartest innovation in housing and construction engineering since the beginning of time. The technology is invented, approved and certified in Germany for its superiority to the traditional housing construction technologies in terms of strength and durability, quality, resistance to weather conditions, sound and earthquake resistance.

Source: Ghanaweb

Family accuses businessman of land grabbing

Members of Igbaro Oteshade Royal Family of Oko Addo in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, have accused a businessman of fraudulently taking over their large expanse of land.

They said the land, about 30 hectares, situated at Oko Addo Village, was inherited from the first traditional ruler of Lagos State, King Addo.

The family has appealed to the Lagos State Government to save them from the said businessman, who they said have started erecting structures on the land. Land But responding to the allegation, the businessman, Mr Emeka Onugha, said the land in question is a government acquired land and that it was Lagos State Government that sold the land to him.

Onugha said that all the title documents on the land were issued to him by the Lagos State Government. Onugha said: “I am not ‘omoonile,’ I bought the land from the owners and went to Alausa to perfect the papers but government told me that the land is government land.” Told that the family claimed that he did not buy the land from them, he said: “The question is that the land belongs to the government. It is the government acquired land.

That the person who sold the land to me was not the right person and that he is not a member of their family, the question is that the land does not belong to the family, it is government acquired land and when I wanted to perfect my papers, the government told me that it is their land.

I have evidence to prove that. Ugwuanyi: Imminent coronation as the campaign ends in style “Now, the owner of the land which is government, sold the land to me and gave me all documents including Certificate of Occupancy, so where did I commit an offence? “Thank God, these people said I bought the land from omoonile.

Whether it is the right omoonile or not, that’s not the issue. The issue is that I bought the land from ‘omoonile. I am an Igbo man, I can’t jump into people’s land.  I’m an investor who has been in real estate business for over 25 years. I have gazette which the government used in acquiring the land.” Onugha said the royal family lost in all the places they took him, adding: “That is why they resorted to the media.”

However, the family insisted that they were the owners of the land from time immemorial, saying it was inherited from the late King Addo but taken over by Onugha, who they said, claimed to have bought it from an unknown family in Ajah. The family’s secretary, Prince Malik Oteshade, who spoke to newsmen during a protest, said:

“The said parcel of land was fully excised in favour of the family in September, 2015 vide a publication from the Lands Bureau pursuant to our client’s application for excision in File No. KL10255. “Our family has been in quiet and unencumbered possession of the said parcel of land until lately when one Onugha who claimed he got title from a family of Ajah, began to forcefully trespass on the land.

“We petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Lands Bureau and the Office of the Surveyor- General, Lagos State wherein the family’s title to the land was affirmed. “

The report of the Investigation Activities from the Office of the Surveyor-General dated January 24, 2018 showed that Plans with nos. LS/D/LA1412A; LS/D/LA3849 and LS/D/LA3806 dated December 18, 2003,  January 19, 2016 and September 22, 2015 respectively in favour of Oteshade Family were approved from the Office of the Surveyor-General. The investigation activities further showed that the record copies of Plans Nos. DHC/2266/AO45/2016/LA. DHC/AO44/2016/LA and DHC/2266/A043/2016/LA all dated June 29, 2016 respectively, said to belong to Onugha were not lodged as required by law.

“Furthermore, the report showed that the record copy of Plan No. TEO/2225/003P/2016/LA dated  February 22, 2016 also in favour of Onugha was also not lodged. Curiously, the area covered by the four survey plans aforementioned and said to belong to Onugha largely falls within the excised 20 hectares in favour of the Oteshade Family as shown in Plan Nos. LS/D/LA1412A; LS/D/LA3849 and LS/D/LA/3806 dated  December 18, 2003, January 29, 2016 and September 22, 2015.”

The secretary explained further, however, that Onugha has fraudulently and probably in conspiracy with some officials of the Lands Bureau procured two Certificates of Occupancy Nos. 39/39/2017AG and 29/29/2017AG with the same defective Plan Nos. TEO/2225/003P/2016/LA and DHC/2266/A043/2016/LA with threats now to demolish structures on the area covered by these fraudulent Certificates of Occupancy.

He added that the family will never negotiate their land title with anybody, while advising the businessman to stop parading the “defective and incompetent” certificates of occupancy.

Source: By Innocent Anaba

Panel Places Property Housing NEITI ‘Under Investigation’

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Properties (SPIP) has placed a property housing the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) under investigation. The property, Murjanatu House, which is being managed by Zamani Estate Agency and Property Ltd, also houses branches of First Bank Nigeria Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank, among others.

The panel’s head of media and communication, Lucie-Ann Laha said the action of the panel in placing a “Under Investigation” notice on the building on Monday was in furtherance to the findings of the panel thus far. She said according to findings, the property, which is situated on Plot 445 Maitama Cadastral Zone A05 in Abuja, was originally allocated to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).

The property became a subject of investigation following a petition to the panel on December 12, 2018 by one Ambassador Abdullah Alifa, the chairman of Petroleum Financial Corporate Ltd (PFC). Alifa, in the petition, had told the panel that his company in 2003 won a competitive bidding exercise conducted by NBTE to develop and manage the property for a period of 23 years with effect from the date of completing the envisaged building.

He said in 2006 while the company was still at the development phase, “There was an illegal and inexplicable encroachment of the property by Messrs. D.B. Mangal Limited and AFDIN Construction Company.

This encroachment was purportedly based on a spurious claim of a revocation of the title of NBTE, which was obviously in total disregard of the extant laws of the country in that respect.”

The petitioner said the encroachment happened after his company had paid N24million to the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) in 2005 for the recertification of the certificate of occupancy of the NBTE property, which he said was handed over to PFC on behalf of the NBTE.

He said Messrs. D.B. Mangal Limited and AFDIN Construction Company continued with their construction on the property despite an order of court by Justice Sidi Bage in 2007 directing “the cessation of all such activities on the property.” He said the recovery of the property would be for the NBTE, who he said is the rightful owner of the property.

By Clement A. Oloyede

Fund sees hope in cooperative housing for increased home-ownership

The Family Home Fund (FHF) says there is hope and huge potential in cooperative housing to increase homeownership level in Nigeria, pointing out that cooperatives, in an organised sector, can be transformational enablers of affordable housing delivery particularly to low and middle income earners.

Cooperative housing seeks to deliver housing by getting people together as cooperators, pool resources together and fund housing developments, thus reducing the burden of individual financing of housing development and increasing affordability.

Femi Adewole, managing director of FHF pointed out in Abuja recently that Nigeria has lessons to learn from other countries on co-operative housing. “Nigeria can replicate what other housing cooperatives in other parts of the world are doing,” said Adewole who spoke at a workshop organised by Nigeria Integrated Social Housing (NISH) in collaboration with FHF in Abuja.

He cited the Urban Housing Cooperative in India which owns about 4.5 million homes between them over the last 10 years, stressing that Nigeria must make the cooperatives very strong vehicles for reliable and affordable housing delivery in the country.

Adewole noted that there were about 2,600 housing cooperatives in Pakistan which have, since inception in 1972, produced about 27 million homes with strong membership, adding that there were 5,700 housing cooperatives in Zimbabwe with significant number of members as women who are responsible for almost 80 per cent of housing delivery in that country.

The managing director assured that, as a social housing programme initiated by the federal government to provide inexpensive mortgages for lowincome individuals and families across the country, the FHF was poised to boost the cooperative housing market in Nigeria.

Under the FHF scheme, which is domiciled in the federal ministry of finance, civil servants who earn salary of 30,000 and above can have access to mortgages to own a home.

The fund is a special purpose vehicle for financial institutions primarily set up to facilitate the production of about 500, 000 homes and to create over 1.5 million jobs.

“The fund is very new but has been running effectively in the past nine months. It has four pillars of funds to achieve home ownership, namely Affordable Housing Fund, Home Loans Assistance Funds, Rental Housing Fund and Land and Infrastructure Fund”, Adewole disclosed.

Source: By Chuka Uroko

Sandbanks tops Britain’s list of most expensive seaside towns

Sandbanks, the Dorset destination known for its waterfront mansions and views over Poole harbour, has topped a new list of Britain’s most expensive seaside towns.

A home in the coastal location now stands at more than £750,000, rising 26 per cent in the past 12 months and remaining comfortably above the second most expensive seaside town, Aldeburgh.

Over the last decade the average house price in Britain’s seaside towns has risen almost a third from an average £185,428 in 2009 to £239,138 in 2019, equating to an average increase of over £5,000 a year, according to the new data from Halifax.

Seaside townRegionHouse price
1. SandbanksSouth West£785,426
2. AldeburghEast Anglia£526,064
3. LymingtonSouth East£502,253
4. PadstowSouth West£482,015
5. DartmouthSouth West£449,685

“The South East coast continues to be home to the most expensive seaside towns in the country, while many of the least expensive are in the north, particularly in Scotland,” said Halifax managing director Russell Galley.

He added: “Despite a clear north-south divide in property prices among seaside towns, the continuing price growth in many northern seaside towns over the years suggests the popularity of coastal living isn’t exclusive to the south.”

The South East has witnessed the largest growth in seaside town prices, accounting for the majority of the top 20 seaside towns with the biggest house price growth during the last 10 years.

Source: By Sebastian McCarthy

DANGIWA, OTHERS EXPRESS DIVERGENT VIEWS ON NEW MINIMUM WAGE

Housing experts have expressed divergent views on the new N30,000 Minimum Wage Bill, which was signed into law last Thursday, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The new minimum wage is effective April 18, as announced by the Senior Special Assistant to Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Ita Enang.
Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, said that the increase in minimum wage by the Federal Government would boost access to mortgage and housing affordability by Nigerian workers.

Dangiwa said that the new minimum wage would enhance access to housing by workers, mostly the low and medium income earners, who were contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme.“FMBN is the foremost mortgage bank that provides affordable mortgage for the contributors to the NHF scheme.
“We honestly commend this initiative by the Federal Government, it is a welcome development,” he said.

Though workers were excited by the new minimum wage, some Nigerians, however, have been nursing fears that the long awaited wage increase, when signed into law, may bring about inflation.

A housing expert, Mr Festus Adebayo, who is the President of Housing Development Advocacy Network, said that the new minimum wage might be a long journey to achieving low cost housing because of possible inflation.“I congratulate Nigerian workers; but what we need is more than minimum wage to be home owners as civil servants,” Adebayo said.

An Economist, Mr Lawrence Nze, who also commended the Federal Government over the development however, disabused the minds of Nigerians who were thinking that the salary increase would prompt inflation.

Nze, an Agric Business Officer with Access Bank, explained that though there would be flow of cash that could make demands go up, the new wage increase would boost the welfare of citizens and overshadow inflation.

Source: By The Tide

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