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Partnering To Create a Community

The sounds of children running, playing, laughing, reverberate in and around the tidy rows of cement block houses.

Not long ago, the land these houses sit on in Kabwe, in central Zambia, was undeveloped. Today, it is home to dozens of families who have partnered with Habitat.

Raphael sits under a mango tree reading the Bible in his native Bembe language, a book he received the day his home was dedicated. He compares this place to the Promised Land. “This is a miracle,” says Raphael, who used to live with his wife and grandchildren in a rundown structure with a grass roof. “No matter what I go through, as long as I have a house, then everything is OK.”

Habitat Zambia has partnered with the government to create this community of hope. “I am quite passionate about housing because I think it’s one thing that dignifies somebody’s life,” says Prince Chileshe, Kabwe’s mayor.

The Zambian government donated the land for the development of 150 houses, then called on Habitat Zambia to make it happen. Founded in 1984, Habitat Zambia has a proven track record, Chileshe says. “Having a vision or a dream and actualizing it are two different things. I can point to families that are happier because Habitat brought them better housing.”

“This is a miracle. No matter what I go through, as long as I have a house, then everything is OK.”

— Raphael, a Habitat Zambia homeowner

Most of the families moving to the new community are from nearby Makululu, a crowded informal settlement of some 62,000 people living in substandard housing and unhealthy conditions. Families have better housing, sanitation and access to clean water. And unlike in Makululu, Raphael and his neighbors say they can catch their breath here. The air is fresher. Their worries are fewer.

Most of the families also have been touched in some way by HIV and AIDS. Today, more than 1.1 million Zambians are infected with HIV. “Three-quarters of the children in this community have parents who have died of AIDS/HIV-related illnesses. And we have double orphans — that is, both parents have died,” says Joyce Mbimbi, who works with Habitat Zambia’s program for vulnerable groups, which began in 1997 in response to the pandemic.

Caring for the children of this community often falls to grandparents and other relatives. Jonathan and his wife, for example, are raising seven grandchildren, several of whom are playing on a nearby swing set.

“It is hard for them,” says Jonathan. “But the house and Habitat have brought them hope.”

Source: habitat

Kenya: Expatriates Vote Nairobi As the Best African City To Work In

Expatriates have voted Nairobi as the best African city to work in citing friendly residents and fair weather, according to the Expat City Ranking 2019.

In the survey conducted by InterNations, the largest community for expatriates, Nairobi was ranked the 45th best city to work in globally.

“About 82 percent describe the locals (Nairobi residents) as friendly and 62 percent find it easy to make friends. The local climate and weather has been a top highlight for expat life, with 91 percent of expats rating this factor positively compared to 59 percent globally,” the report said.

Nairobi beat other African cities such as South Africa’s Johannesburg, which was ranked 59th globally, Cape Town (65th) and Nigeria’s Lagos (79th).

Nairobi was rated 47th out of 72 cities in a similar survey carried out last year, meaning it has improved by two places over that period.

InterNations noted that respondents picked Nairobi for being easy to settle in, ranking third worldwide behind Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Manama in Bahrain.

InterNations, which has more than 3.5 million members, surveyed over 20,000 respondents in 82 cities around the globe in the 2019 ranking.

The survey examined five areas of expatriate life including quality of urban towns, getting settled, work-life balance, finance, housing and cost of living.

Source: allafrica

Australian Housing Scheme Still Ambitious

It only took a relationship breakdown for one Victorian father to be forced into sleeping in his car or on a couch, while his children shared a room at his mother’s two-bedroom bungalow.

The daily routine of dropping off and picking up his two young children at school in the next town over from his mum’s made finding stable work challenging.

This hurdle was overcome when in 2018 the trio got a home with Habitat for Humanity, an international affordable housing organisation.

The children can now walk to school and their father has landed his first full-time, permanent job at a nursery.

Habitat for Humanity chief executive Philip Curtis says the other flow on effects of the stable housing situation for the family, and others like them, are significant.

“Improved education, employment opportunities, improved health and maybe even that really subjective outcome called happiness,” he told AAP.

Habitat for Humanity is just one organisation backed by a scheme that is hoping to become as deeply ingrained in the Australian psyche as putting on a car seat belt.

Homes for Homes gets property owners to commit to donate 0.1 per cent of the future sale of their home to affordable housing projects.

Currently, more than 600,000 extra affordable homes are needed to meet demand nationwide.

Inspired by a US program, the initiative was launched in 2015 by the same people who run the social enterprise magazine the Big Issue and it has already distributed $480,000 to projects.

It is currently operating in NSW, Victoria, ACT, South Australia and Western Australia, with plans to expand into Queensland, the NT and Tasmania.

To get the best bang for their buck, the organisation has primarily targeted property developers, hoping they will add the Homes for Homes caveat to newly-sold properties.

So far, 16 developers have done so and Homes for Homes is in discussions with another 60.

Homes for Homes chief executive Steven Persson said the organisation’s initial conversations with developers took longer than expected, partly because they were suspicious they weren’t being asked to simply cut a cheque.

“But now there’s a sense of momentum about it,” he told AAP.

People who buy properties signed up to Homes for Homes aren’t forced to follow through with donating when they sell their home, but about 80 per cent have and the figure is rising.

Property developer sales teams spruiking the concept has helped.

But the recent softening of the housing market dampened the enthusiasm of some developers.

“We’ve just had to be that little bit more patient to get that answer we want,” Mr Persson said.

Individual home-owners can sign up to the initiative by putting in a request on the Homes for Homes website and they’ll be specifically targeted in 2020.

Mr Persson believes the organisation could become part of the national culture like how Australians wear seat belts and recycle – behaviours that took more than 10 years to take hold.

“We’re playing a long game here,” he said.

Forecasting shows Homes for Homes could raise more than $1 billion within 30 years if three per cent of the population signs up.

Of the organisation’s first funding round, doled out in October 2018, $40,000 went to Habitat for Humanity – equal to about a third of the cost of a new build.

The money went towards a house in Yea, in Victoria’s northeast, for a couple and their young daughter who had previously been living in unsuitable conditions.

Other grant recipients included Havelock Housing Association, which received $200,000 for a unit offering long-term affordable tenancies to matched pairs of older women.

Applications for a second round of funding distribution have already closed, with the recipients due to be announced in early 2020.

Source: 7news

Military Housing Contractors Say they’re Working To Improve Homes, Lawmakers Hearing Otherwise

Five military housing contractors told lawmakers they are taking concrete steps to improve the conditions of service member homes, and creating better avenues to report substandard living conditions, but lawmakers are skeptical of the progress.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday that they are hearing reports of persistent and worsening housing conditions on some bases. Additionally, a recent Government Accountability Office report found the Defense Department has little insight into the condition of the homes and the data it does have on the houses is spotty.

The presidents and CEOs of Corvias Group, Hunt Companies, Lendlease Americas, Balfour Beatty and Lincoln Military Housing all told the committee they are making progress on bettering the living environments for service members living in houses built and managed by their companies. Those homes were plagued by mice, mold, lead paint and deferred maintenance.

“When I was last on the Hill in February I said I was sorry,” John Picerne, founder and CEO of Corvias Group said. “I said I would do whatever it takes to do what is right by our residents. We have been making changes in a concerted effort to get back to the gold standard.”

Picerne said his company added neighborhood staff to work directly with families, moved resident call centers back onto installations, launched a portal for residents to place and track work orders and established the role of a resident advocate.

Corvias also added $325 million in private capital to work on houses and is adding another $200 million from partnership reserves.

Denis Hickey, CEO of Lendlease Americas, said his company increased a focus on customer service, added new staff and training modules for maintenance.

“We’ve introduced new mold inhibiting protocols,” Hickey said. “These include new mold painting techniques, enhanced filter protections, new ventilation systems and other initiatives. We are continuing to invest in digital technology to improve all aspects of our business. This includes modules that include customer service, greater data analytics and better predictive maintenance technology.”

Hickey also said his company received 25,000 work orders last month, and 97% were completed on time and function.

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“We think this is a good result and we are proud of that,” Hickey said. “However, it does mean 3% were not completed on time. That 3% is my central focus. What can we do to get that number down?”

Hickey’s high percentage may not be as good as it sounds though. The GAO report released earlier this week stated metrics like completing work orders on time are not as positive as they sound.

“While this indicator measures the timeliness of the private partner’s response, it does not measure or take into account the quality of the work that was conducted or whether the resident’s issue was fully addressed,” the report states.

None of the CEOs provided comprehensive metrics or statistics about the progress they made on the houses.

Lawmakers like Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) said they are seeing issues with the houses continue.

In a letter obtained by Federal News Network, Brown called on the Fort Meade garrison commander to step up and protect service member since “it seems that Corvias is no longer a partner with Fort Meade.”

“Nearly 12 months later problems persist and have worsened,” Brown states in the letter. “Despite the resources and attention Corvias has supposedly brought to improving housing, there are reports that they are manipulating tests, falsifying repairs, punishing families who speak out by purposely delaying maintenance requests, waiting for the families to permanently change station, and harassing service members.”

Brown described service members selling their blood to fix their homes themselves.

Stories like the ones in Brown’s letter were echoed by other lawmakers dealing with the different housing companies.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) visited Fort Belvoir on Monday and recounted a family whose home was undergoing repairs for mold. The insulation was supposed to be replaced, but a woman living in the house noticed no new insulation was brought into the home, despite the company’s insistence it was supplanted.

“She said, ‘Open the wall. I think you’re lying to me,’” Kaine said during the hearing. “The wall was opened up and the old installation that was dirty had been put back in and it was already soaking wet because not only had they not put in new insulation, they hadn’t fixed the water problem behind the wall.”

Earlier this week, the top civilians in each military service said they would consider dropping the companies if things don’t improve, but did not offer any further details.

Source: federalnewsnetwork

Millennials Will Propel the U.S. Housing Market in 2020

Millennials are anticipated to drive the U.S. housing market forward in 2020 more than ever, with large cohorts expected to either purchase their first home or decamp from city to suburb and trade up, according to an economic forecast published by realtor.com on Wednesday.

The group of individuals born between 1981 and 1997 “are reaching key life milestones” in 2020—4.8 million of them are turning 30, a time when many people purchase their first homes—and are expected to take on more than half of all mortgages next year, outnumbering Generation X and Baby Boomers combined, according to the report. The eldest of the millennial generation, meanwhile, will turn 39 next year—often a point when people look to move from the city to the suburbs for family-friendly amenities.

The takeaway is that millennials of all ages will help keep overall buyer demand robust in 2020, especially for entry-level homes, according to the report. This year saw the potential buyer pool grow nationwide due to the aging millennial population as well as low interest rates and rising rents. In 2020, buyers may benefit from flat home price growth, which is forecast to increase just 0.8% nationwide. Prices will decline in a quarter of the 100 largest cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco, the report predicted. In addition, mortgage rates are likely to average 3.85% throughout the year, bumping up to 3.88% at the highest point.

But while it may be easier to qualify for a home next year, it could be more difficult to actually find one, the report says, because the continued low supply of inventory will constrain buyers, especially at the entry level. Part of the reason: New construction in 2019 was largely isolated to upper-tier housing, according to the report. (Realtor.com defines “upper-tier housing” as properties roughly $500,000 and up, but the exact figures vary from market to market.)

Sellers, meanwhile, will need to adjust their expectations and perhaps their asking prices as the market balances out, tipping favor toward buyers. Those who do accommodate local market conditions can expect to be rewarded by steady demand, the report predicts. Existing home sales are expected to tick down 1.8%, to 5.23 million next year.

From Penta: Future Returns: The Case for Convertible Bonds

Luxury Outlook

In the luxury segment, defined as the top 5% of the price range in a given market, both sales volume and prices have softened throughout the U.S. in 2019. That’s expected to continue into 2020, realtor.com’s senior economist, George Ratiu, said in an interview Wednesday.

“This year marked a turning point for the luxury market, where we saw softening in large part because the supply of new homes in that market has been ramped up,” he said.

At the same time, eager would-be sellers have been moving to list their properties in hopes of taking advantage of the price appreciation that’s built up over the last six years, he said.

Supply of luxury homes will continue to outweigh demand, listings will spend linger, and in some cases, sellers will make big price cuts to move the inventory, Mr. Ratiu said.

The slowdown can be partially attributed to the country’s demographic shift, as buyers under 40 flood the market, Mr. Ratiu noted.

“Many of them are saddled with student debt, and it’s a stretch to expect that they are going to pick up a lot of the slack at the upper end of the market,” he said. Anyone who has wanted to buy luxury property and could afford it has probably already bought one, he added.

Worries the country could be heading toward another recession have been floated this year, but that isn’t likely in 2020, the realtor.com report says. The economy will, however, show signs of softening, and the pullback in business spending is expected to lead to a slowdown in consumer spending, according to the report.

One big uncertainty in 2020 is how the U.S. presidential and congressional elections, will affect the housing market. Although there’s not a direct line between the election and the housing market, “business optimism and investments, along with consumer confidence and spending do influence economic output, and can also influence housing activity,” the report notes.

“Rising uncertainty about the economic outlook will dampen consumer enthusiasm about spending, leading to a decline in sales and an increase in homeowners’ tenure,” the report says.

Source: mansionglobal

Housing Starts Highest in 10 years: Homes England

Building work began on 16,955 new homes in the six months to the end of September under programmes run by Homes England.

The latest figures for the government body tasked with delivering affordable homes exclude London and properties that are part of the Help to Buy scheme.

The level of new housing starts between April 1 and September 30 is the highest in 10 years and an increase of 7 per cent on the same period of 2018.

However, completions over the same period were 14,792, which was a decrease of 7 per cent on the same period last year.

Of all the new housing starts,12,310 or 73 per cent were for affordable homes, which marked an increase of 24 per cent on the same time last year.

Among these, 5,157 new housing starts were for affordable rent, which was down by  9 per cent on the 5,698 started in this period last year.

A further 3,886 were for intermediate affordable housing schemes, which include shared ownership and rent to buy, an increase of 5 per cent on the same time last year.

Of all the homes completed in the six-month period, 10,295 or 70 per cent were for affordable homes, a decrease of 7 per cent on the same six months in 2018.

Modular housing developer Project Etopia’s founder Joseph Daniels says: “There is a long way to go to plug the hole in England’s housing deficit, but Homes England is chipping away at it at an ever-growing rate, reaching a 10-year high for starts on new homes.

“In particular it is making much-needed inroads in affordable housing levels, which represents more than 70 per cent of its work.

“The 24 per cent growth in affordable home starts, compared to the same time period last year, indicates that Homes England is succeeding in driving delivery forward in that area of the market.

“Its efforts bode well for the coming year with a bumper rise in completions expected to follow.”

Source: mortgagestrategy

Choosing an Agent

What To Look For When Choosing Your Real Estate Agent

As real estate becomes an increasingly popular career choice, many regions have thousands and thousands of real estate agents. Whether you’re buying or selling, it is important to understand what makes a real estate agent great and how you can find one to best represent you and your needs.

Here are three things to consider when finding that perfect real estate agent.

1. Marketing

When evaluating a real estate agent based on his or her marketing prowess, consider a few things. The first is placement: Where are the advertisements placed and is the audience they’re exposed to relevant? The second is frequency. If the real estate agent places one ad annually, perhaps this won’t be effective for you. The third thing to think about is whether the advertising is corporate (advertises the real estate agent) or focuses on advertising homes.

In a seller’s market, where homes sell in a few days, marketing may not be as effective a tool for a seller. In other markets, it can be of paramount importance. Where it just takes one buyer, exposure may be the key to finding that person.

You also want to consider the real estate agent’s use of open houses. When done strategically, an open house can be a good way to announce a listing to the market and get potential buyers or selling agents through a home. However, they are not a blanket strategy and should not be overused, or it will be to a listing’s detriment. Be wary of agents who want to host open houses on your property every weekend, or who offer prizes in exchange for visitors. These may be agents who are looking to leverage your listing to get potential buyers for other sales. I always remind my sellers that a qualified buyer will make the time to book an appointment if he or she is truly interested in your property.

One last thing on marketing: Don’t get starry-eyed by the breakdown between digital and print marketing. There are many agents who will tell you they only advertise online. Perhaps they even speak about how they have millennials working on their online presence and insist that print media is dead. But — what is the market? If they’re dealing in the luxury sphere with older buyers, or placing expensive ads in long-lasting coffee table magazines with high readership, print marketing may be extremely effective.

2. Hand-Holding

You don’t want a real estate agent who is going to hold your hand throughout the process. Yes, you read that right! A common misconception is that a real estate agent who calls you constantly to check in and update you is doing a great job.

What’s more likely is that that real estate agent has more time on his or her hands than you’d like. It is more important that your real estate agent check in periodically, but be constantly out with clients on showings and making deals happen. A busy real estate agent is a real estate agent who has a network that can sell your home.

If you’re a buyer, a real estate agent who checks in regularly may help you achieve success in a seller’s market, where homes can sell very quickly. A real estate agent who doesn’t get back to you quickly regarding setting up viewings in this kind of market can hinder your buying success.

3. Confidence

Certainly, the key indicator of whether you’ll work well with someone is whether or not you trust them. This expands to any kind of hired professional, but is essential with a real estate agent.

You want to ensure that the trust you have in your real estate agent is based not only on his or her personality, but also on past performance. If you’re listing your property, choose a real estate agent who has a good reputation selling in the neighborhood or property niche. Perhaps your home is luxury and there is one agent who tends to sell the highest properties in your city. Maybe there is an agent who dominates the waterfront market and your home is riverfront. A past track record of relevant sales is important, as it will show you this agent knows how to market and sell such properties.

It is also important to understand that not all established real estate agents are active in an equal way. Though you may have the impression that a real estate agent is producing sales based on word of mouth or signage, make sure you actually see a list of sales.

We often deal with clients who are top of their fields, whatever they may be. It is important for such clients to understand that just as they are successful in their field, we are in ours. The trust that comes with that understanding allows us as agents to negotiate more effectively on their behalf and to consequently help them achieve their real estate dreams. If you don’t trust your real estate agent, you’ll be more likely to conceal salient facts, such as financial stress that may impact your ability to wait out a slow market.

These are a few of the things to consider when choosing a real estate agent, with track record and trust being the most important.

Source: Forbes

Everything you Want to know About Appraisal of Commercial Property

The appraisal of a commercial property can be a very complex process but it can also be a necessary step in the process of buying or selling a commercial property. Here are answers to some common queries about the process.

An appraisal of a commercial property is a complex procedure and involves a lot of paperwork and some legal formalities. It can seem even more complex if you have never had it done it before. There can be several visits by the appraiser to your property and several rounds of discussion with various parties involved. The nature and scope of work also vary from property to property and the appraiser may adopt various techniques for appraisal depending on the type and location of the property.

Here are some of the most common questions and their answers related to the appraisal of a commercial property:

Q 1: What is a commercial property appraisal?

Ans: An appraisal is a procedure to determine the value of a property through well-established norms.  The property can be of any type-shopping mall, office complex, hotel, factory or a warehouse. The appraisal can help in the process of buying or selling, taxes and various other purposes.

Q 2: Who conducts an appraisal?

Ans: A professional appraiser, who is usually a real estate company, can assess the value of a property. The historical data and value of other properties in the area are taken into account, apart from various other factors. There is a scientific approach in the collection of various data and their analysis. An appraiser requires a license to operate in many Western countries. However, there is no such requirement in India.

Q 3: What is an appraiser required for?

Ans: There are occasions when an appraisal is required. When the property is to be sold, the seller wants to have the maximum possible price for it and may initiate an appraisal process. The buyer of the property may start an appraisal if the amount asked by the buyer is too high in his/her opinion. There are times when the government wants to assess the value of a property to ask for the correct taxes or for compensating the owner if the property is being taken over for public good.

Q 4: Who can initiate an appraisal of a commercial property?

Ans: The owner or the manager of a commercial can initiate an appraisal process for the property. Sometimes, the buyer of a property on sale can also initiate the process with prior permission from the seller. Sometimes even the government can begin an appraisal. It is to be noted that the government does not need prior permission from the owner of the property.

Q 5: Who pays the appraisal fee?

Ans: The party which is initiating the appraisal process will have to bear the appraisal fee. However, there are cases when the buyer of a property on sale passes on some or all of the appraisal costs to the owner, especially when the owner also wants to get a fair valuation done.

Q 6: How to look for a professional appraiser?

Ans: The first step towards finding an appraiser is looking at your own needs for appraisal. Sometimes, you may want to know the value of your own property (such as when you want to sell it). When you have decided what kind of property is to be appraised, then you must conduct a thorough research as to which appraisers are capable of carrying out the appraisal process for such a property. Internet research can help you somewhat in that. Once you have shortlisted a few appraisers, then a physical visit to their office and getting quotes of their fees will help you further decide whom to settle for.

Source: housing.com

Lagos’ Suenu Family Takes Over UAC Property in Abebe Village

Sequel to an agreement reached between the Suenu Chieftaincy family and its tenant, United African Company (UAC), a land measuring about 6.531 acres in Abebe village in Surulere Local Government Area, Lagos State has been taken over by the family.

The agreement on the land inhabited by Olam Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Ropes Plc, and other international companies came as an out-of-court settlement, which was made a consent judgment by Justice A. M. Lawal of Lagos State High Court.

The family represented by Chief Omogbolahan A. N. Durosimi, Qudus O. Suenu, Shakirudeen Yussuf Samisideen O. Ogungbadero, and Mohammed M. Durosimi had sometimes in 2015, instituted a suit marked LD/1170GCMW/2015, against U.A.C. Nigeria Plc and Registrar of Title, Lagos State, over the large portion of the land.

However, terms of settlement between the parties, Justice Lawal in his judgment delivered on March 13, 2017 but signed on July 12, 2019, held: “by virtue of terms of settlement dated January 24, 2017, the claimant and the first defendant agreed to settle the issue raised in the suit on the conditions stipulated in said terms and which terms were pronounced upon by this Honourable Court as the judgment of the Court on July 10, 2017”.

The family on September 23, 2019, in a motion exparte, approached Justice Mojrenike Obadina’s court for the enforcement of the judgment.

In granting the exparte motion, Justice Obadina held: “upon the application dated September 23, 2019, coming before this honourable court to be heard on behalf of the claimants/judgment creditors/applicants.

“And upon reading the affidavit in support of the motion of Samisideen Olaseni Ogungbadero, Secretary to Suenu Chieftaincy Family, sworn to and filed o at the High Court Registry, on September 26, 2019, and after hearing G. C. Nwosu of counsel to the judgment creditors/applicants, it is hereby ordered as prayed, leave is granted, the applicants to executed the judgment of the Honourable Court delivered in this suit on March 13, 2017. “Order is granted issuing warrant of execution of the said judgment”.

Prior to the execution of the judgment, the judgment executor, Otunba Tomori Williams, while speaking with neswmen narrated how Suenu Chieftaincy’s family became the owner of the land in the 19th century, which was given to them by Olooto Royal family-friendly filters I was on.

He also narrated how the part of the land was leased to U.A.C upon approaching the family in 1947 and 1952. Adding that after sometimes UAC, which had been unhindered possession till today, stopped, failed and refused to pay the statutory leasehold agreement to Suenu Chieftaincy family.

Williams explained that following the failure and refusal of UAC to pay statutory leasehold agreement on the land, forced Suenu Chieftaincy family to approach the court and instituted the suit. But stated UAC entered an out-of-court settlement with the family and agreement eventual became the judgment of the court, which he was empowered to execute.

He also stated that the said property in question is not a subject of any other litigation, as Suenu Chieftaincy Family has been unhindered possession through the people they leased it to, primarily, UAC, Nigerian Properties company and others.

Source: Guardianng

Who Will Rescue Nigeria Housing Sector?

Shelter along with food and clothing remains essentials of life identified by Abraham Maslow’s human basic needs. There is a sense of pride, security and level of fulfilment humans derive from owning their homes.

It has been well established a fact that housing is very important to mankind and to economic growth.

Housing problems abound in Nigeria both in rural areas and urban centres. The problem in the rural areas has to do with qualitative housing while the problem in the urban centre is both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Almost half of Nigeria’s population live in cities, with 80 percent living in overcrowded slum areas and generally poor living conditions coupled with inadequate infrastructural amenities. Rural houses are of generally poor condition, and they are characterized by lack of potable water, toilet and decent environmental conditions.

Since independence, all the housing policies by the federal government, though laudable, have failed because they were built on unsustainable tenet that houses will be provided by the government. This is an anomaly which must be corrected for the country to move forward and achieve a remarkable reduction in the housing deficits.

The presidential technical committee set up by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo headed by Prof Akin Mabogunje did set a great agenda for housing. In fact, some of the surviving housing projects in Nigeria today are results of that highly respected committee.

Also under President Goodluck Jonathan, the then Minister of Finance deserves kudos for getting the World Bank’s support for housing finance which many thought would have put the country’s mortgage system in a better shape.

While these moves are commendable, they have suffered due to lack of commitment from stakeholders who succeeded them.

A good number of housing advocates have bemoaned the selfishness of most public and private sector players in the industry who only target short term projects that are not sustainable in any way.

The quality of housing stock in Nigeria is poor because the construction industry is driven by cost minimization rather than value maximization. The lack of a regulatory body and a non-existent legally binding building code has led to the continued poor performance of contractors leading to poorly constructed buildings.

Given the current state of things in the Nigeria housing sector, it will be difficult to provide housing unless issues of access to land, commercialisation of building approvals, provision of secondary infrastructure, affordable housing finance and many others are addressed.

It is obviously beyond the might of the government to address all the challenges in the housing sector, and that is why a lot of stakeholders are advocating for more corporate personalities and businesses to focus their corporate social responsibilities towards housing.

While acknowledging the support of philanthropists like Alh. Aliko Dangote in spending a lot of money in providing houses for IDPs, there is need for more corporate social responsibilities and constituency projects in the area of social housing for the masses. The productivity of people will improve if they have access to their own houses.

It is now expected that the stakeholders in the sector begin to speak with one voice especially when dealing with the government. They need to persuade the government to address some critical problems facing the sector, and this can only happen when stakeholders are united in their advocacy.

Without a doubt, the current administration headed by President Muhammadu Buhari needs to show more interest in the housing sector. While it is laudable creating a body like Family Homes Funds, there is need for more support for all housing related agencies to deliver on their mandates.

There are a lot housing sector related laws like the foreclosure law, the land use act, housing sector regulation and many more that needs to be passed both at the federal and state levels. There is need for more commitment towards regulating the activities of private sector in order to deter shylocks, unprofessional and fraudulent practises.

A couple of institutions in the housing sector have begun initiatives like rent to home and cooperative housing to make it easier for those in need of a home have affordable access to them. Such initiatives should be given more support by the government.

It is only through such strategic interventions that the Nigeria housing sector can be functional in a way that it can deliver affordable housing for millions of Nigerians who are currently homeless and stranded. Opportunities and potentials abound in the housing sector, but only possible if the right things as mentioned above are done.

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