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Hundreds Of Migrants In Sweden Could Soon Lose Their Housing

Hundreds of migrants who arrived in Sweden as unaccompanied migrants risk losing their accommodation by the start of February.

They will need to leave housing provided by the Swedish Migration Agency, as municipalities will be asked to take on the responsibility for housing and maintenance support. But the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting, SKL) cannot guarantee homes for all of those affected.

The decision applies to around 750 people who arrived in Sweden under the age of 18 and without a family member or guardian. Of these, most are covered by the so-called ‘high school law’ (gymnasielagen), which allowed rejected asylum seekers to stay in Sweden until they finished high school.

The Migration Agency pointed to a ruling from the Court of Appeal in June which established that people with right of residence but who were not covered by the Settlement Act should not be provided by accommodation or financial support from public authorities.

Although its new legal position was effective from Monday, the agency said it would not be asking the affected people to leave their homes until January 31st, 2020.

Thousands of children disappear in Swedish asylum process
“We understand that this is very tough news for these people, since it means such big changes. That’s why we are waiting until January 31st to write it out, so that they will be able to finish the autumn school term but also have time to look for new accommodation,” said Veronika Lindstrand Kent, department head for national coordination at the Migration Agency.

“We hope that as many people as possible will be able to find their own accommodation, but if people can’t, there is a possibility to apply for assistance from the municipality,” said Lindstrand Kant.

Long read: The story of Sweden’s housing crisis
But SKL said it cannot guarantee homes for all the affected people due to uncertainty over whether Sweden’s Social Services Act includes those who are still waiting for a residence permit.

“Of course it is worrying that the legal framework is so complicated that some young people will end up in a gap between obtaining a residence permit and being forced to leave the Migration Agency housing,” said Fredrik Lennartsson, head of the department for care and welfare at SKL. “We are analyzing the issue and will come back to the municipalities with our answer.”

Source: thelocal

FMBN Building Affordable Housing Projects in Over 20 States – Dangiwa

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa has said that the bank is currently financing the development of multiple affordable housing projects in at least 20 states of the federation.

While speaking on Friday to Housing Tv’s  on one on one segment in Abuja, Dangiwa said that in partnership with NECA, Trade Union Congress and Nigeria Labour Congress they have acquired free plots of lands from state governments across the country and for which they have provided designs and funding, and handed them to developers to build homes that are affordable for the beneficiaries.

He said, ‘’currently in the north central, we have developed such houses in Nasarawa and Kogi and are being packaged for the end users. In the North West we have in Sokoto and Jigawa. In the North East, we have in Borno and Adamawa. In the South East we have in Abia and Enugu. In South West we have in Ondo and Osun. We also have in Lagos and Abuja.’’

According to him, a total of about 13 sites that are about to be commissioned in the next few months and handed over to beneficiaries.


Senate Committee Chairman on Housing, Sam Egwu Restates Commitment to Amending Housing Sector Bills

The Senate Committee Chairman on Housing and Urban Development, Senator Sam Egwu has said that the legislative arm of government is ready to enact and amend the housing sector bills that will enable the development of the sector and reduce the country’s housing deficit.

The Senator made this known on Thursday in Abuja while delivering his goodwill message at the 8th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development with the theme: “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Development.”

Senator Sam Egwu said the responsibility of any Government was to provide affordable houses for its citizens.

“We at the National Assembly will provide the legislative support to move the housing sector forward. We are ready to work on any bill sent to us,” he said.

The Senator also stressed that collaboration between all stakeholders in the sector was very crucial in achieving affordable housing for Nigerians.

The Senator has proven this himself in a recent meeting with Housing Development Advocacy Network – a housing sector advocacy group – who are preparing a list of all bills necessary for enactment and amendment by the National Assembly.

These bills, if amended will help address some issues like lands administration, access to funding and many others which affect projects delivery and investments in the housing sector.

FG Seeks States’ Collaboration to Address Housing Deficit

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has called for closer ties with the state governments to address housing deficit in the country.

He said that for the objective of providing adequate housing for Nigerians to be achieved, state governments should be on the same page with the Federal Government.

Speaking at the 8th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development with the “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Prosperity”, with representatives of the states of the Federation, Fashola, said the country cannot achieve much if all of its component parts are not contributing much as expected.

According to him, “no matter how much we intend to achieve in terms of housing, we need the states to work with us, while implementing their own programmes to also collaborate with us. That is the first important thing I want to say. Of all the National Councils of the various Ministries, perhaps the Council on Lands and Housing and Urban Development is perhaps the most important one.

“While the Federal Government wants to commit to Housing and Urban Development for its economic, social and other benefits, interestingly it is the state governments, who by virtue of the Land Use Act that control the land. So how do you build if you do not have land and that is why I say this council meeting is so important, because collaboration can be fostered. Land can be made available as it was done at the 2016 Council when we wanted to start the National Housing pilot project. It was the states who gave the land, the 34 states and I am happy to report that we are building in all those states today. We need that cooperation to continue.

“Also since 2003 the Supreme Court of Nigeria had determined that Urban Development and Planning is a matter exclusively preserved for the jurisdiction of state governments. So it is not just important for you to own land what you do with that land and how you use it is a matter solely controlled by the state.”

He continued that, “therefore whatever the FG seeks to achieve in terms of urban development, housing development, it needs collaboration with the states and this is important. It is important therefore that this collaboration must continue especially if Nigeria is to achieve her housing aspirations. The cooperation between us and the states must be the foundation of the prosperity we want to achieve; this is why we chose this year’s theme.”

Source: thenationonlineng

Governors Tackled for Shunning Housing Corporations

As accommodation deficit has continued to increase at an alarming rate in Nigeria, state governors have been advised to partronise   housing corporations in order to reduce the ugly trend.

According to the Chairman, Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria (AHCN), Alhaji Mohammed Baba-Adamu, this singular effort will encourage affordable housing and reduce redundancy among state housing corporations.

In an interview with New Telegraph, Baba-Adamu, who claimed to have made several efforts to reach the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF),  lamented that government’s patronage of housing corporations was not as expected, adding that this was responsible for inactivity among the agencies.“Housing corporations in many states are almost dormant. It is like they are not even functional due to lack of patronage by the state governors,” he said.

In the past, virtually every state established housing corporations in the seventies to operate as property developers of the government.

The corporations funding came mainly from government allocations, while units were usually sold for cash.

Often, both low and middle-income earners were the target market for these housing developments.

Prospective buyers either paid cash or were allowed to make payments in installments during the period of construction as mortgage finance was not always available.

Worried by the current development, the AHCN boss said he had been doing everything possible to contact states to patronise housing corporations, noting that they have all it takes to develop houses for citizens.

He traced low or non-patronage of housing corporations by government to the era of democracy, where governors preferred to give contracts to party members at exorbitant cost instead of giving them to the agencies.

According to him, something that housing corporations would have done at half the price but probably because the agencies would not give them political patronage they expected, governors would award the contracts to party members.

Baba-Adamu said: “I am just using that as an example. I want to say that it is one of the challenges we are having.

“We just have our people sitting down, doing nothing and collecting salaries. And you are giving the jobs to other people and paying higher for it.”

To turn the tide, he disclosed that  his board had been  making efforts to see how it could get the attention of members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to make presentations to them so that they could patronize housing corporations.

On high cost of housing units, the president of AHCN stated that what actually affected affordability was the issue of building materials, noting that a bag of cement that sold for N1,300 10 years ago now cost N2,600.

Meanwhile, housing experts  have also called for collaboration  between housing cooperatives and the corporations  in addressing rental and low income housing shortage in Nigeria.

The experts pointed out that  cooperatives remained a viable option to enhance housing availability and affordability as well as mobilizing resources and off-takers in tackling funding mechanism challenge. 

They called on state governments to speed up the adoption of legal framework for judicial enforcement of mortgages  and foreclosure legislations to boost investor confidence and streamline bureaucracies in Nigeria’s mortgage market.

The experts pointed out that lack of adoption of foreclosure laws to safeguard investors was one of the impediments to attraction of housing finance to the sector.

They identifed various challenges associated with site development and management of real estates and rental housing. These, they said, had resulted in loss of money through avenues such as proliferation of materials and inflation of prices of building materials.

Housing Deficit

To solve the problems, Baba-Adamu and the secretary of AHCN, Olusola Martins, enjoined  all housing agencies to embrace modern technology and digital solution for development and management of real estates and rental housing.

They bemoaned dearth of skilled and unskilled labour in the housing sector, pressing  to kick-start the retraining of housing personnel especially professionals that supervises projects on sites to mitigate incessant building collapse and drive production of quality housing in Nigeria.

They also bemoaned drop in commitment by government towards National Housing Fund contribution, imploring them  to sustain it in order to make funds available for housing development.

The experts called FMBN to make loans process more applicant friendly by removing all bureaucratic hurdles and demonstrate a verifiable and transparent trend of benefits to NHF contributors nationwide in order to win back the confidence of states that have withdrawn.

Source: newtelegraphng

Snapdocs Secures $25M To Make Real Estate Closings Less Tedious

Snapdocs, an AI-powered platform aimed at streamlining the digital mortgage closing process, announced this morning it has closed on a $25 million Series B.

F-Prime Capital led the round, which included participation from previous investors Sequoia Capital (the firm led Snapdocs’ $15 million Series A in 2017) and Founders Fund. The financing brings Snapdocs’ total raised to just over $43 million since it was founded in 2012. The San Francisco-based company went through Y Combinator’s accelerator program in the 2014 winter batch.

Snapdocs claims its platform currently powers over 10 percent of all U.S. residential mortgage transactions, which amounts to about $150 billion in real estate transactions annually. It helps process about 750,000 real estate closings a year and has developed a network of over 50,000 industry service providers such as lenders, title companies and notaries.

Aaron King, the company’s founder and CEO, said Snapdoc is is not out to try and disrupt the industry. It’s instead trying to help its players “work better together.” It also aims to reduce the time borrowers spend at the closing table from over an hour to just 15 minutes by doing things such as giving them the ability to review lengthy documents digitally beforehand, for example, according to King.

“You have 12 different industries trying to interact to make a real estate transaction happen. We’re focused on helping those parties coordinate better,” he said. “Our goal has been to become the connective tissue to help those different industries improve their workflow in a more seamless, automated way by tackling the complex underlying machinery of the entire process.”

King told me that Snapdocs has intentionally opted not to raise too much funding because it’s “not the type of company trying to burn tons of capital.”

“My last company was bootstrapped, so we have that in our DNA,” he told me. “In almost every fundraising round, we’ve had opportunities to raise at higher valuations but we believe if you’re going to build a really enduring company, it’s more important to pick the right partners.”

The company will use the new capital to help “fuel growth” and further invest in its technology. It’s also planning to grow its recently-opened Denver office.

As part of the funding round, David Jegen, managing partner of F-Prime Capital’s tech fund, will join Snapdocs’ board.

“Residential mortgage is a $2 trillion industry and one of the largest sectors yet to be digitized,” said F-Prime Capital’s Jegan in a written statement. “The entire closing process is cumbersome and in need of a better workflow for collaboration, coordination and transparency. Snapdocs has built the leading vertical SaaS solution to this problem and is well-positioned to become the industry’s platform for digital mortgage closings.”

Source: Crunchbase news

Nasarawa Govt To Partner Private Sector For Mass Housing Project

NASARAWA state government has said that it would collaborate with private sectors for the construction of mass housing scheme in the state.

The Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Philip Dada, made this known in Lafia while speaking to journalists on Wednesday, said the present administration under Egnr Abdulahi Sule, has plans for the construction of Maas housing scheme in Karu Local Government Council.

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“The Governor has said it all, that he is going to focus on a mass housing project with attention given to Karu axis, because of the population that is there.

” We are going to involve private sectors to drive this process, using various kinds of arrangement, the policies involved would be made available in due course”, he said.

The commissioner, further stressed that the present administration is also giving attention to roads construction in both rural and urban areas, stressing that infrastructural development is a key area in Governor Abdulahi Sule’s administration and would continue to do all it could to ensure that people enjoy social immunities in the state.


Source: tribuneonlineng

Shelter Afrique CEO Calls For Shift To Mass Housing

Pan African housing lender Shelter Afrique has challenged realtors to concentrate on mass housing projects across Kenya to address the deficit in urban areas.

Shelter Afrique chief executive Andrew Chimphondah said local developers should shun their appetite for high-end clients in favour of low cost housing that will improve quality of living spaces for most Kenyan families.

“Most developers tend to add higher margins to the units they develop, which in the long-run make such units rather expensive and out of reach for low income earners. This partly explains why there is a glut in the high-end property market despite the reported housing shortage in Kenya,” said CEO Chimphondah.

Shelter Afrique said while land contributed about 40 percent to the total construction costs, developers stand to benefit by taking part in the government-fronted Affordable Housing Programme (AHP).

Some 7,000 acres have been identified and assigned to AHP projects across the 47 counties where private developers have been invited to inject capital, develop the properties and be paid besides allocation of 30 percent share of the land for their own use.

Source: businessdailyafrica

African Housing Financer Roots for Affordable Houses in Kenya

Pan African housing finance institution Shelter Afrique on Monday urged Kenya’s real estate sector to focus on constructing affordable houses in order to address the current property glut.

Andrew Chimphondah, CEO of Shelter Afrique said in a statement released in Nairobi that properties in Kenya are priced out of reach of many buyers hence the slow uptake.

“Most developers tend to add higher margins to the units they develop, which in the long run make such units rather expensive. This partly explains why there is a glut in the property market despite the reported housing shortage in Kenya,” Chimphondah said.

He said that Kenya has witnessed a housing glut build-up for the past three years due to declining demand and high property prices.

“My advice to local developers is that they would rather chase less profit and more volume because if they chase the profit and not the volume, they end up not having take-ups. They can achieve this by venturing into the affordable housing space,” Chimphondah said.

According to the pan African lender, the high cost of land, high financing cost, poor infrastructure and lack of utilities is pushing property prices up as property developers pass the costs onto the end-buyers.

“Land is very expensive in Kenya, sometimes constituting up to 40 percent of the cost of the house — probably the highest in Africa. The good news is that under affordable housing, there are new technologies and new building materials that can help reduce construction costs significantly,” Chimphondah added.

Shelter Afrique is a partnership of 44 African governments, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Reinsurance Company, which was established in 1982.

Source: Xinhuanet

UK Town Planners Publish Key Demands Ahead of General Election

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has published its key demands for the next UK government in a manifesto ahead of the 2019 General Election.

From Neighborhoods to Nations – the importance of planning has been sent to every current Member of Parliament seeking re-election in December.

The document sets out key issues that need to be addressed at a political level to ensure town planners and the planning system are able to create sustainable, well-designed, successful urban and rural places into the future, and planning’s role in delivering zero-carbon targets.

Chief Executive of the RTPI, Victoria Hills, said: “Planners and the planning system have a critical role in meeting the future challenges of climate change and population growth over the coming decades.

“However, local authority planning teams have seen a reduction of 42% in funding over the last decade. We therefore call on the next government to ensure local planning authorities are adequately resourced to enable local planning teams to deliver for communities.

“This document sets out our key priorities and I call on politicians to equip planners to help achieve their goals.”

The manifesto also urges the next government to protect and grow devolved powers to city regions, remove barriers to city-regional spatial strategies for development and infrastructure and remove legal barriers to allow city regions to fully use their devolved planning powers.

It also highlights that the future pipeline of urgently-needed planners via apprenticeships and planning schools should continue to be strongly supported by government.

Source: RTPI

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