Archbisho

Archbishop Vows to Handle Housing Crisis

The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched a new commission to look at the housing crisis and the Church’s role in building stronger communities across the country.

Chaired by Charlie Arbuthnot, an expert in the financing of social housing, and the Bishop of Kensington, Graham Tomlin, who has been active in efforts to support residents following the Grenfell Tower disaster, the group will begin to ask questions about the use of Church land, affordable housing and government policy.

Launched at Lambeth Palace on Tuesday, the Commission is made up of experts in the area of housing and community including Sir Robert John Devereux a former permanent secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions and Marvin Rees the Mayor of Bristol.

Archbishop

Those gathered at the launch were promised a “thoughtful, imaginative and radical” look at issue as well being told the Commission is keen to listen to stories of those working on the ground.

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Explaining the importance of its work, Justin Welby, said: “Britain’s housing crisis is one of the major challenges facing this country – and it is hitting the poorest the hardest. While there is already significant work being done to find solutions, the Church has something unique to contribute.

“Up and down the country we are living out our faith in Jesus Christ by loving and serving those around us. Through food banks, night shelters and many other projects, the Church seeks to bind communities together with bonds of friendship, compassion and mutual support. This teaches us that any way forward must involve building communities, not just houses.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community will consider what else we could and should be doing, as a Church and as a nation. In doing so, I hope it might help reclaim the very purpose of housing – as the basis for community, and a foundation for human flourishing.”

 

The Archbishop acknowledged the housing crisis isn’t a new issue. He also suggested it was a growing problem for clergy who retire and move out of church owned homes.

Speaking to Premier at the launch, Graham Tomlin explained why the Church wants to address what some would describe as a political issue.

He said: “The church is called to do justice and to bear witness of the kingdom of God and an important part of that is looking at the issues that particularly effect poorer people in our society.

“Housing is one of those issues. One of our clergy said to me the other day, that most of the postural issues he deals with have some sort of housing connection to it, the housing crisis affects poorer people more than others.

Archbishop

“One of the ways in which we bear witness to the kingdom of God, this vision of the way God wanted the world to be, is by helping people imagine what that might be. And what we’re trying to do is to try to see what that might look like, in the realm of housing in our society.”

The Commission is expected to gather evidence over the next 18 months before producing a report.

Charlie Arbuthnot spoke to Premier at the launch and explained what he was hoping to achieve.

He said: “I think probably top of my list would be that we’ve done something that’s enabled really healthy community across the nation.

“We’ve got dislocated communities and it would be great if we could deal with that.”

Marcus Jones

A Guide to Buying Land in Abuja

Buying land in places like Abuja, Lagos among other big cities in Nigeria may seem demanding because of the steps and procedures one must undergo before the transfer of ownership can be successfully completed.

The best and fastest way to avoid the legal and bureaucratic hurdle involved is by consulting the services of a good real estate agency like FESADEB as they know their way around all the presumably difficult steps.

To begin, you have to understand that all the lands in the metropolis and outskirt areas of Abuja belong to the federal government. The government then confers the authority to two agencies called Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA) and Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) to oversee all land affairs and regulations within Abuja jurisdiction.

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Buying land

AGIS is responsible for generation, management and administration of geospatial and land-related matters in Abuja which include handling of data capture, processing, and computerization of land-related departments and customer services such as billing and revenue collection.

There are two types of lands in Abuja which are FCDA land and Area Council land. Area Council lands were initially allocated by the chairman of each area council until the responsibility became that of the FCT minister.

The minister is currently the sole authority involved in the allocation of land that was initially under the two aforementioned councils.

As a prospective land buyer in Abuja, you should understand that some lands are under government acquisition while others are government committed lands. Lands acquired by the government for its specific use is lands under Government acquisition. This means the government has plans for these lands.

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On the other hand, government committed lands are land which the government will never sell or give to any individual. Examples of these lands are land designated for pipelines, roads, government estates, government schools etc. Any individual who violates and erect a structure on this kind of land will eventually have his structure demolished and charged to court.

To acquire a land in Abuja, you may necessarily need to consult experts in the field to give advice or render a professional assistance. Real Estate Firms like FESADEB Ltd have at their disposal, collection of professionals who can handle the whole process of purchase of land and development of property on your behalf.

Buying land

The following are the major steps you need to go through to successfully acquire a land in any part of Abuja:

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  1. Confirming the actual size of the land: Though allocation papers usually include the size of the concerned land. Most times, they are not accurate. The actual size of a land is usually contained in the Technical Deeds plan produced by a surveyor. If the land you are purchasing already has a Technical Deed Plan you can go ahead with the next action.
  2. Get a Surveyor to take you around the land using the coordinates contained in the TDD: This is especially important if you are acquiring a large piece of land which can’t be assessed from close-range. The importance of this is to make sure the land is in good condition and does not contain any unusable surface.
  3. Run a background check at the Local Area Council: This search helps you know the status of the land. If it’s in the city’s master plan, already sold to someone or free for acquisition, this is where you will find out. It is also advisable to double check about the land with AGIS.
  4. Register with AGIS: you can proceed to register the land after you might have double checked that it has no present owner. The payment of the necessary fee will warrant you a receipt which is your Right of Occupancy. Immediately after occupying this document, you can proceed with an application for Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
  5. Payment of compensation: Though the federal government is the present owner of all lands in Abuja, those lands had owners before the government acquired them. In order to complete the acquisition stage, you will need to pay a compensation fee to the initial owners of the land. Usually, the value of a land depends on the number of economic trees present on it. Once again, you will need the assistance of one who has gone through this process countless times in order to avoid running into complications.

Source: HousingNews

Group to Launch Real Estate Data System for Housing Delivery in Nigeria

The Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) has announced that it will launch a National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP) in order to tackle housing deficit in Nigeria.

This was made known by the body’s President, Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, who told newsmen  in Abuja that the collated housing data would be inaugurated and hoisted during its forthcoming expo scheduled to hold in Abuja from May 7 to 8.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NRE-DCMP was initiated by REDAN and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to collate property price index nationwide to solve housing problems in the country.

 

Real Estate

The surveyor said that the data, collated from national land administrators on pre-construction, construction and post construction activities nationwide would be hoisted on the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)’s website for public usage.

“We are going to hoist the data on the website of the NMRC who actually is the key party and has done so much in the area of structural improvement to the mortgage process in Nigeria by keying into mortgage laws which they brought about.

Chime regretted that before now there was a big misrepresentation of housing data in the country which has not really helped the sector.

“I have been in different fora where ministers representing different various ministries in Nigeria outside this country were giving different data about the same issue, which is embarrassing.

“We need data for planning; we need to know where we need those houses, so we organised it in such a way that the CBN agreed to work with us to tackle housing sector crisis.

“The data emerged from developers profile and capacity, demand and affordability profile of the market within a given locality and household condition survey.

“We went a step further to ensure that all the parties who are involved in the planning of various aspects have data for it.

He said that the association collaborated with CBN, World Bank, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) , NMRC , Value Chain and other organisations.

“We also collaborated with the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS), National Population Commission (NPC) to be able to have the NRE-DCMP which is a novel thing that has never happened before,” he added.

He further noted that the data had input on land administration and the 37 land administration entities in Nigeria including the improvement that could be brought to bear on them.

He added that the collated data included issues of mortgage law and foreclosure law as well as how to standardise operations of various institutions to ensure a developer received a standardise allocation letter.

Chime explained that the collated data would also dwell on how to standardise the deed of legal mortgage and deed of assignments in various registries to ensure it’s financial acceptance.

“On affordability we want to know the numbers and the people in the 774 LGAs who need the houses and their affordability reach so that we will stop the issues of having duplexes everywhere or building houses people cannot buy.

“So we can now do targeted construction that can only happen when we have the data on affordability and business data to know the people who are developing the houses.

“We also have housing condition which is the baseline to ascertain the condition of existing houses in the 774 local government or the 37 entities we have in 36 states and FCT.

“These components are what we have gone on to do by organising the NREDCMP,” he said.

According to him, the association has been able to ensure the various stakeholders have understanding of how all the data they want to work upon were collated, gathered and analyse

Housing News

Building Collapse: ARCON Introduces New Policy, APRN to Tackle Menace

IN apparent response to a call by the Lagos State government, seeking solution to the menace of building collapse, and urging the public to submit memoranda in that respect,  the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), has urged relevant authorities in the country to adopt its initiative known as “Projects’ Registration Number (APRN)” system.

To ARCON,  introduction of APRN, would  among other benefits, reduce the menace of building collapse in Nigeria.

President of the Council, Sir Dipo Ajayi, an architect, who said this to newsmen recently, was reacting to collapsed buildings in Lagos and other parts of the country.

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“Only two weeks ago, a four-floor building at Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island,  that was being used as residential and school premises collapsed, with the unfortunate incident led to the death of some, including children, while several others were injured.

“ As if that was not enough, few days after another building in Ibadan, Oyo state, also collapsed”, lamented the ARCON boss.

Aayi, who was accompanied by messrs Kayode Anibaba, former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Environment in Lagos; Adebayo Dipe, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing; Mr. Ohioma Andy, Director, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing;  Ladi Lewis, former chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos; and Tiwalola Fadeyibi (all architects), to the Ita-Faaji collapsed building site, said it was high time for all states to embrace its APRN initiative.

According to him, APRN System, which entails the process of numbering all architectural projects in Nigeria, will further tighten loose end in monitoring building projects across the country.

“We want to collaborate with state governments to ensure that APRN becomes operational in all the states in country.  And we have been creating awareness on this.”

Ajayi added that according to the process, all architectural projects/drawings are prepared only by fully registered architects, submitted to ARCON and assigned the ARCON Project Registration Number (APRN) before submission for planning/implementation approvals.

Ajayi, who commiserated with the families of the deceased and hoped that those directly involved in this despicable act would be brought to book, said that, while the APRN is intended to combat the scourge of building failure and collapse through the elimination of quackery, it will also ensure that only fully registered and financially current architects/architectural firms prepare, produce and submit designs for planning/implementation approval and receive such approvals when they are given.

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According to him, architects and architectural firms who are registered with the council are to submit architectural building plans for approval/implementation and are responsible for the supervision of their designs.

Ajayi said that, this measure is to complement the old practice of submitting building with a copy of the architect’s current practice licence, the affixing of ARCON stamps, signed by the architect and sealed (with the architect’s ARCON seal) on each sheet of the drawings submitted for approval.

He revealed that building can collapse due to non-involvement of professionals and poor designs; over-perpetual loading, adding that development, hence, there must be re-engineering, rebuilding and re-planning of the entire Lagos Island space.

 

LASG, Magodo residents disagree over master plan review

The residents of Magodo Government Reserved Area are currently embroiled in a running battle with the Lagos State Government over the proposed review of the area.

Some of the residents, who spoke with The Punch, accused the state government of reviewing the master plan of the area and presenting it for their approval without their input.

Magodo is an upscale residential development, created by the Lagos State Government in the 1980s and comprising phases 1 and 2.

residents

The residents alleged that the state government planned to convert the entire area into mixed use to accommodate other forms of developments other than residential.

A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said the process began in 2017 when the state government contracted a firm to review the master plan of the area.

He said analysis of land use and conflicting uses were done and sent to the residents association for review but the entire process suddenly stopped in 2018.

According to him, on March 22, 2019 the association got a letter informing residents that government officials of New Towns Development Authority, Lagos, were ready to make a presentation of the final draft.

The 1st Vice-President of Magodo Residents Association, Mr Bajo Osinubi, told our correspondent that in early March, the association wrote to the government to know what was happening with the review but got a response that there would be a stakeholders’ meeting on the final draft.

“This means everything done before had been put aside. So, the residents association refused by writing to the commissioner; he replied that the meeting was for approval and for rubber stamping,” he said.

Osinubi said residents of Magodo Phase 1 refused to attend the stakeholders’ meeting while those of phase 2 attended but rejected the draft.

He alleged that by refusing to carry residents along, the state government planned to make a mess of the residential estate.

He said, “In my 12 years of living in the estate, I can count the number of things the government has done here; we do our things ourselves. We also fight commercialisation because we don’t want to be like Lekki, which is in a mess, with residents selling their properties and moving down to Magodo.

“In the final draft, they turned all our arterial roads into mixed development; with that, anything can happen. It simply means that next to your house, you can have a church, mosque, a club, a seven storey-building or a supermarket. But from the beginning, Magodo was created as a residential estate.”

Osinubi stated that over the last five years, the state government had been trying to link the estate with some virgin marshy lands, which were supposed to have wetland, adding that the review might be a fast way to achieve that.

When contacted by our correspondent, the General Manager, NTDA, Mr Wasiu Akewusola, said Magodo residents had already turned the area into mixed use with illegal conversion of residential buildings to schools and offices, hence the move by the government to review the developmental plan.

Akewusola said, “Planning is dynamic and Magodo is over 30 years old. We planned it as residential but even at that, there should be provision for other activities, not everywhere will be residential; there will be schools and others.

residents

“The residents themselves are turning the place into uses that suit them and the government cannot stand and watch, so it decided to review the developmental plan and appointed one of the residents as a consultant on the project.”

The GM said the review was just for law and order and to legalise conversion of residential buildings into other uses.

The residents have, however, written to the state government, asking for three months to deliberate on the proposal of a draft new plan for the 21 zones of the estate.

“We want to study the draft, bring in experts to tell us the environmental impact of the new plan before we decide on what to do. We are basically a residential estate and we want to remain so,” Osinubi said.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

Edo to demolish illegal structures on moats, river banks, others

Edo State Government said it is set to commence demolition of illegal structures and buildings on moats, and river banks.

Such structures are said to have allegedly contravened extant town planning laws.

The demolition follows the expiration of notices earlier served on illegal developers in the state.

READ ALSO: BUYING LAND FOR SALE IS A WORTHY INVESTMENT

EDO

A statement issued by the State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Erimona Oye Edorodion, disclosed this.

The statement said, “For the information of the general public, especially illegal developers, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development will commence demolition of illegal structures following the expiration of the notices served on them for seriously contravening the State Extant Planning Laws.”

Edorodion explained that the illegal structures to be demolished include “roof eave-extensions, structures erected on the right of way of roads/Streets, Moats, River Banks, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) High Tension Lines, all attachments on wall fence, caravans, kiosks and wooden sheds which are scattered all over Benin City.

“All illegal developers are hereby advised in their own interest to demolish or remove their illegal structures and reinstate the land to its original status prior to your illegal development,” he added.

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The Commissioner warned members of the general public, especially illegal developers, “that if they fail to comply with the directives, the Ministry shall enforce the provisions of the extant Town Planning Laws of State against them and recover the cost of such action from them in a Law Court of competent jurisdiction and prosecute them accordingly.”

Source: PMNEWS

Fashola suspends Housing Project in Gwagwalada

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has ordered the immediate suspension of work at the Abuja National Housing project in Gwagwalada, FCT.

Fashola gave the order during the inspection of the ongoing Abuja Mass Housing project in Gwagwalada, on Monday.

The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) had written “Stop Work Inscriptions’’ on buildings at the construction site.

He said the suspension became necessary in order to settle any development control issues with the ministry and FCDA through due process.

“As you can see, there are Development Control inscriptions on the buildings and it means there are development issues by the FCDA.

“My staff tell me that the issue has been resolved, but I also respect the law that says every development control restriction inscriptions must be complied with.

“So I am not going into that building; and I have ordered the head of unit here to stop work immediately until these inscriptions are removed and I see documents to that effect.

“This is one of the many ways that we can begin to take our laws seriously because this is a government development project and we need to respect the laws we make,’’ Fashola said.

The minister said that the construction of the mass housing project was ongoing in 33 states across the country where lands had been made available.

He stated that aside from artisans involved in the project, contractors were engaged in the pilot scheme to deliver quality work.

“The last time I was here, I was satisfied with the quality of work and I saw carpenters that were seriously engaged in the construction work.

“That is what the Federal Government wants to achieve; to use housing schemes to stimulate employment in the country.

“The Federal Mortgage site is a different concept entirely, they do not only lend money, but help you to build for people who want to pay rent,’’ Fashola added.

Source: Nationng

Quantity Surveyors

Institute to Govt- Engage Quantity Surveyors to low cost

Mr Ayuba Akere, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) Lagos Chapter, has urged all tiers of government to engage the services of quantity surveyors in capital projects, housing and road constructions to minimise costs.

Akere gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

READ ALSO: RE-CERTIFY BUILDINGS ON LAGOS ISLAND- SURVEYORS

quantity surveyors

According to him, chartered surveyors will help to monitor and evaluate the costs of projects to ensure that the allocated funds are properly used to achieve the targeted objectives.

He said that quantity surveyors were cost managers and evaluators, who specialised in expenditure and cost assessment to ensure that incurred/proposed costs were justifiable.

Akere said: “The continuous mismanagement of government’s funds allocated to projects is as a result of absence of professional chartered surveyors to evaluate and monitor the cost aspects of the projects.

“In Nigeria, the government has allocated huge sum of money to some particular capital projects for more than five to 10 times, yet such projects have not been executed.

 

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“If the quantity surveyors are involved in handling the costing of such projects, they will ensure that maximum value is derived from every expense incurred.

“This is because cost evaluation, expenditure management and rendering of cost advice are the major areas of job description of quantity surveyors.’’

quantity surveyors

He said that there was the need to involve chartered surveyor in all aspects of government’s cost management, particularly now that there was economic meltdown in the country.

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Akere said that if developers, corporate organisations and private individuals engaged the services of chartered surveyors to evaluate the cost of their projects, losses and excessive cost/expenditure would be reduced in the country.

Source: HOUSING NEWS

Buhari: Why I declined assent to controversial National Housing Fund Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari said he declined assent to the controversial National Housing Fund Bill passed by the National Assembly because the various levies imposed on Nigerians in the Bill will not only be “disruptive and punitive” to industries and other sectors of the Nigerian economy but will also have negative impact on Nigerian workers.

Buhari said his decision to decline assent to the bill was pursuant to Section 58 (4) of the 1999 Constitution.

In separate letters addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and read on the floor at Tuesday plenary, President Buhari also explained why he rejected seven other bills, including a bill that sought to appropriate $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

Before the President’s dissent, condemnations had trailed the passage of the National Housing Fund (Establishment) Bill passed by the National Assembly, which will seeks to repeal the National Housing Fund Act, 2004 and provide additional sources of funding for effective financing of housing development in Nigeria.

According to Sections 4, 5, and 6 of the Bill, some of the levies imposed on Nigerians include: 2.5 percent monthly deduction from workers’ salaries; 2.5 percent of the ex-factory price before transportation cost of each manufactured or imported 50Kg bag of cement or equivalent in bulk.

Others are a minimum of 10 percent Profit Before Tax imposed on commercial banks, merchant banks, insurance companies and Pension Fund Administrators into the National Housing Fund.

“The provision of Section 6(5) of the Bill in relation to Pension Reform Act and real estate investments thereunder may undermine the administration of the pension industry by the National Pension Commission and adversely affect the safeguards that protect the pension industry against unreasonable investments risks,” the letter titled Presidential decision to decline assent to the National Housing Fund, 2018, read in part.

Although the President declined assent to the bill on March 19, it was received at the office of the President of the Senate on March 28, 2019.

He also rejected the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill, which proposed the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for the completion of the company.

The President noted that in the midst of competing priorities, Nigeria cannot afford to release such a huge amount in one fell swoop.

He also noted that relevant stakeholders including the Ministries of Mines and Steel Development and Industry, Trade and Investment were not fully consulted.

Such appropriations, he said, should have been earmarked through the ‘traditional’ budgetary process with approval from the National Economic Council (NEC).

Other bills rejected by President Buhari include the Nigerian Aeronautical Search and Rescue Bill, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Bill, National Biotechnology Development Agency Bill, National Institute of Credit Administration Bill, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill as well as the Chattered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill.

Source: By  wede Agbajileke

Berlin activists march to demand city seize housing from landlords

Thousands of Berlin residents took to the streets on Saturday to vent anger over surging rents and demand the expropriation of more than 200,000 apartments sold off to big private landlords, which they blame for changing the character of the city.

Activists have started collecting signatures for a ballot proposal that would require the city to take back properties from any landlord that owns more than 3,000 apartments. Polls suggest such a measure could pass, forcing the city to consider spending billions of euros buying privatised housing back.

Demonstrators marched through the city centre under a giant model shark. Banners read “against rent sharks and speculators”.

“We have had very bad experiences with these property companies for years, and we know that they answer to their shareholders and not to tenants. We don’t want them in our city any more,” organiser Rouzbeh Taheri told Reuters television.

For decades after unification in 1990, Berlin became a magnet for artists, musicians and students drawn by housing that was far cheaper than in other major European cities. Around 85 percent of Berliners rent their homes rather than own them.

But with an influx of some 40,000 people a year in the last decade, rents have more than doubled since 2008, according to a study by online housing portal immowelt.de. The city is no longer a bargain for newcomers, and many of its longer-term residents say they are struggling.

Among the properties that have been sold off to the private sector are many of the large landmark Communist-era housing projects built as showpieces under the former East Germany. Many have been acquired in recent years by Deutsche Wohnen, the city’s largest landlord with around 115,000 flats.

Campaigners, who call their movement “expropriate Deutsche Wohnen”, have six months to gather 20,000 signatures and until February to collect a further 170,000 to force a referendum. A February poll showed 44 percent of Berliners support renationalising flats, while 39 percent oppose it.

Deutsche Wohnen and other landlords say the spectre of expropriation could exacerbate the problem by deterring new construction: “Expropriation brings no relief for the drastically tight housing market in the capital,” said Deutsche Wohnen Chief Executive Michael Zahn.

The Berlin Senate estimates the cost of buying back property at up to 36 billion euros ($41 billion). The Social Democrats who lead the coalition that governs the city say such funds would be better spent building housing than re-nationalising it. They instead favour a five-year rent freeze.

“I understand the anger against property firms that want to squeeze every cent out of renters. But expropriation takes years and doesn’t create a single apartment,” the Social Democrats’ national leader Andrea Nahles told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Source:  Caroline Copley, Reuters TV
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