AG Mortgage Bank promotes affordable housing in Enugu

AG Mortgage Bank Plc., a Primary Mortgage Bank in the country, has enabled no fewer than 89 subscribers in Enugu to become home owners under the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme designed to promote home ownership across the country.

The keys to the houses, according to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer , AG Mortgage Bank Plc, Mr.  Ngozi Anyogu, were delivered to the happy home owners recently in Enugu.

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According to the Chief Executive Officer, the houses were developed by the COPEN group, a reputable property development company with projects across the country.

All the houses are within the Jedidiah Gardens Enugu which provides a good ambience for home owners

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AG Mortgage Bank “is an active operator of the NHF Scheme, and has disbursed in excess of N3 billion to over 390 NHF beneficiaries” he said.

Access to mortgage loan under the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria – National Housing Fund Scheme, according to the Chief Executive is open to all Nigerians with verifiable stream of income who are contributors to the NHF scheme.

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Anyogu urged Nigerians in all spheres of endeavour to take advantage of FMBN/NHF scheme and AG Mortgage Bank’s other mortgage products namely: The Tenant – Owner -Mortgage (TOM); a rent to own programme, Leap Into Mortgage (LIMO) product, an incremental mortgage arrangement, that fits home buyers at different income levels.

Homebuyer Education: Things you must consider before buying a Home

 

How well do you really understand the homebuying process? Taking  into consideration necessary homebuying factors will do more than teach you how to get a mortgage or pull together a down payment. It will help you determine the amount of home you can afford without endangering other lifetime financial goals.

If you think this information is just for first-timers, think again. Real estate markets change, and so do homebuying environments. It is worth considering gathering the essential information each time you’re making a home purchase, especially if it has been a significant number of years between purchases. These homebuying factors can keep you up to date on what you’ll need to know this time around.

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Here are some of the major topics a thorough homebuyer should take note of:

1. Homebuying readiness. Explore the general questions around a homebuying decision, such as why you want to settle in a particular area, how long you plan to stay, what kind of property you’re considering and where you are in your career and lifestyle. You may also be asked to answer specific financial questions to support your thinking, which should not be shared with others. This will help you determine answers to the big questions, such as whether you should buy a home or stick with renting.

2. Budgeting and credit. This will help you evaluate how you handle money. Do you have a budget? If not, do you know how to create one? Do you understand your credit rating and what goes into determining your score? If you have debt, how are your efforts going to pay it off? Essentially, what you don’t know about spending and borrowing can limit your ability to buy a home.

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3. Preapproval for mortgage financing. Navigate the nitty-gritty of the loan process – what a mortgage is, the various types of mortgages, how they work and what it takes to be preapproved for a mortgage. Pre-approval involves filling out a full mortgage application, typically with a fee to cover an extensive credit check as if you were actually buying a home. Pre-approval, unlike prequalification, allows a potential borrower to receive a loan commitment for a specific amount, which can grease the wheels in a potential purchase.

4. Knowing what you can afford. Analyze the above and consider the reality of what kind of property you can really afford to buy. Look at price limits and locations and ways to get more for your money, including specific local, state and federal borrowing programs you may qualify for. Buying your dream home can seem nice, but it can turn into a nightmare if you can’t afford the home while living within your means.

5. Your home search. Determine how, when and where to shop for specific properties within the neighborhoods you are interested in and how to get the best overall deal for what you’re buying.

6. What you’ll need to close a home sale in your chosen community. Buying a home can also include an introduction to the specific regulatory and cost environment where you’re planning to live. For example, you should take note of such things as community-specific housing laws and zoning restrictions that could affect what you’ll be investing in the property, property tax issues (particularly if an assessment is pending), your home titling process, inspection requirements and the other costs linked to legal processes and paperwork.

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7. The aftermath. You should have you a wide picture of the costs you’ll face after the sale and how to manage them so you don’t put the rest of your finances in jeopardy. Being too “house poor” not only puts you at a risk of losing the property, it can threaten other important financial goals.

If you have your eye on a particular property around you, reach out to the owner and ask your questions based on the factors listed above.  Also, get a second opinion – if you work with a qualified financial professional, ask what he or she thinks about the  the information given by the property owner and its benefits.

Don’t think narrowly about what you can get out of it. It’s not just about getting the mortgage. It’s a chance to ask about how a home purchase may affect other aspects of your financial life – all personal finance goals should be considered equally.

Bottom line: Since the  collapse of the mortgage industry , it’s been a new day in residential homebuying. Whether you’re buying your first home or beyond, taking a homebuyer education class can help you understand the mortgage process, improve your credit and shop smarter for a home you can actually afford.

Nathaniel Sillin

Nigerian engineers can now practice in 48 countries

 

The President of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Kashim Ali, has said that the council has become a member of the Federation of Engineering Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (FEIAP).

He said with the membership, Nigerian engineers can now practice in 48 member countries, including Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan, China amongst others.

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Kashim disclosed this during an accreditation visit by delegates from the board of Malaysia and Pakistan engineering council to COREN office in Abuja.

He said COREN has also applied to be member of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA) by being signatory to the Washington Accord to raise the bar of Nigerian engineering practice to match international best practice.

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He said the IEA delegation was in Nigeria to observe COREN typical engineering programme accreditation procedure.

He said, “We strongly believe that at the end of the visitations, we would have demonstrated the strength of our engineering education and proven our capacity and suitability for the attainment of the provisional signatory status to the Washington Accord. COREN through this will be able to forge intra and inter-regional cooperation for Engineering Accreditation and mobility of certified engineering personnel within Africa and between Africa and the world.”

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He also disclosed that the council has approved engineering programme accreditation requests of 19 institutions.

Mustapha Suleiman

Rivers displaces Lagos as top investment destination

RIVERS State dislodged Lagos State as the number one foreign investment destination in Nigeria in the first half of 2018,according to an investment profile report by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Rivers received 35% of the $45.74 billion invested in 42 projects in nine states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during the period, the NIPC said. It was followed by Bayelsa and Lagos states with 26% each.

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The sectoral analysis of the investment profile shows that mining and quarrying accounted for 61% of the total investment and manufacturing 28%. Other sectors are transportation and storage, five per cent; real estate, three per cent; and the remaining sectors accounting for three per cent.

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The report also showed that the investments were from investors in 11 countries, with French companies accounting for 35% of the value, closely followed by Nigerian companies at 31%. The report said the UK’s investment stood at 20%; Luxembourg seven percent and the remaining eight percent were from the other countries. “The top 10 announcements accounted for 43.1 billion dollars, representing 94 per cent of the value of the announcements,” the report read.

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The NIPC however said the report was based only on investment announcements cited in NIPC’s newsletters from January to June 2018 and might not contain exhaustive information on all investment announcements in Nigeria during the period. “Nevertheless, the report gives a sense of investors’ interest in the Nigerian economy in the first half of 2018,” it said. “NIPC did not independently verify the authenticity of the investment announcements but is working on tracking the announcements as they progress to actual investments.”

Infrastructure funding: FG needs to borrow N1.6trn –Agusto & Co boss

 

The Federal Government has been advised to take more loans if its decision to fund infrastructure in the country will be realised.

Speaking at the training for financial journalists held in Lagos at the weekend, a Senior Analyst at Agusto & Co, Jimi Ogbobine, said the government will need about N1.6 trillion to fund infrastructure this year.

According to him, ‘Analysis of the Macroeconomic Environment’ sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank, was meant to deepen the knowledge of journalists on the economy and financial industry developments.

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Ogbobine said the bulk of financing for infrastructure will come from borrowing with a larger share being domestic debts.

He added that funding the capital budget will require higher than planned borrowing with adverse implications for interest rates and interest costs for the economy.

“The Federal Government borrowing to fund infrastructure is likely to be between N1.2 to N1.6 trillion. The implementation is unlikely to start before the second quarter and revenue is likely to be lower than planned.

Actual funding from asset restructuring, recoveries and “other” may be substantially lower than the planned level of N2 trillion. Therefore, fully funding the capital budget will mean higher than planned borrowing with adverse implications for interest rates and interest costs,” he said.

He added that obligatory spending of the Federal Government is still more than 100 per cent of revenues, hence, there is no free cash flow for investment in infrastructure. “Every kobo of infrastructure spending is financed by debt constrains ability to fully fund budgeted amounts.

Debt as percentage of revenue is significantly higher than the median, of 200 per cent, for countries in Middle East & Africa. Federal Government plans to partly finance 2018 capital expenditure with proceeds of asset sales,” he said.

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He said a hyper-inflationary environment is one where prices double at least every three years. “This means inflation rate of about 25 per cent per annum.

In such environments, investors hold savings in low inflation currencies in dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euros and business persons price products (particularly those with a high import content) in these low inflation currencies, usually the dollar. In effect, such environments are “dual currency environments”.

“Real Gross Domestic Product per capital should grow in 2018. It should be easier for businesses to access forex to fund their operations. Most businesses should see top line and profit growths.

Unemployment rate will fall but the level will remain high,” he stated.

Continuing, the analyst said actual deficit may be lower than planned deficit largely because of a low implementation of the capital budget.

Ogbobine said based on the long-term inflation difference, the naira-dollar exchange rate should close 2018 at about N420/1 in the Investors & Exporters’ FX Window. He however predicted that should oil revenues increase, as is likely, the CBN will try to keep rates in this market as close as possible to the current levels.

He explained that despite recent contraction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, Nigeria remains Africa’s largest economy, following rebased GDP figures in 2013. “Still a viable economy based on long-run projections.

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Significant issues with political stability, terrorism and scattered violence in certain areas. Heavily dependent on crude oil exports and facing severe economic challenges with the current global oil market shocks, terrorism threats, and attacks on key economic interests,” he said.

He stated that average oil price for 2018 is likely to be firmer driven largely by OPEC production cuts, stronger growth, high but declining inventories and political tensions in the Middle East.

“A lot is still contingent on ability to produce and evacuate oil from the Niger-Delta. Demand management of imports will continue. If Nigeria is able to produce and evacuate crude, she will build reserves but some of the reserves will be used to intervene in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) market to keep exchange rates in this market at near current levels,” he
added.

Ajiri Daniels

Time to explore opportunities in social housing

 

Great opportunities abound in the social housing sector of the economy but successive governments in the country have not been able to utilise these opportunities to the benefits of the public.

The social housing sector has all the hallmarks of a sector that will see increasing challenge over the next few years.

Recent industry debate has focused on the need for, and means to deliver, accelerated levels of consolidation through various activities. The need for social housing stock has never been greater, but there will inevitably be winners and losers as the sector works through its issues.

Social housing is an umbrella term used to refer to rental housing which may be owned and managed by the state, by non-profit organisations, or by a combination of the two, usually with the aim of making it affordable.

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Social housing may also be referred to as a public housing which may be a form of housing tenure in which the property is owned by a government authority, be it federal, state or local government authority.

When you talk about social housing for the masses, the words that come to mind are cheap, affordable, non-profit driven, mass produced houses that could be occupied by low income earners, who may wish to save towards eventually buying such houses over time.

Generally, social housing deals with housing solutions that are priced and financed in a way that would ensure low-income occupants could satisfy their other basic needs.

Even though the scarcity of affordable housing affects all segments of the society, it is notably low-income earners who are most affected. The way and manner government build estates does not show that the poor masses are borne in mind.

The property market ought to service the low income earners in the society. The Nigerian urban housing market primarily targets high income earners and thus leaves large parts of the Nigerian population excluded from formal housing provision.

In general, low-income households face a number of barriers such as weak individual purchasing power; lack of access to housing finance; unavailable complementary goods, such as land and infrastructure; and insufficient housing supply required to meet the actual demand of the urban poor.

Executive teams, boards and their lenders need to be proactive in assessing the impact of recent policy changes and their options and response to them.

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With the range of stakeholders and the clear public policy interest, it is likely to take significant time and effort to deliver credible solutions for those providers with the most challenged business models.

Social Housing, in its various forms, has been an increasingly important part of the UK provision since the boom in house building following the end of the Second World War.

There are a variety of private, public and charitable enterprises that build, manage and maintain housing stock, with standards and rent levels subject to a high degree of regulation.

As of September 2015, there were 1,783 Registered Providers (RPs) of social housing who were registered with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the sector regulator. The sector supplied some 2.7m homes in England, representing an increase of 1.5 per cent on the previous year.

Much of the growth in the sector was attributed to the increase in Affordable Rent Stock to a new high of 123,000 units (Source: BBC, April 2015).

The creation and provision of social housing is towards ensuring housing affordability. Affordable housing is therefore defined as housing which costs no more than 30 percent of the income of the occupant household. This is the generally accepted definition of housing affordability.

Frankly speaking, Nigeria’s housing problem is derived from a historical lack of focus on housing development.

Over the years, the country has not been able to develop a viable and sustained housing finance system either because of lack of expertise, up to date and knowledgeable industry leaders especially in the policy making arms, lack of funding for relevant institutional agencies/department, political and selfish gains. Housing plays a special role in the social, political but more importantly economic dialogue in most societies.

Housing has been known to be a major component of creating stable and healthy communities and it is often the largest single category of household expense. For housing to be successful, a country like Nigeria needs to have a stable macroeconomic environment. Moderate to high inflation rates and nominal interest rates as witnessed in Nigeria are typical features of volatile economies.

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These features have strong effects of reducing the affordability of mortgages. A volatile economy also affects the supply of funds and the types of mortgages offered by lenders. In such an environment, lenders are concerned about liquidity risk and are reluctant to offer long term loans.

The solution to this, then, becomes government’s strong institutional intervention in terms of favourable policy drafting and implementation.

The coming on board of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), is a commendable step towards scratching the surface of this challenge. This is despite the fact that the NMRC is dragging the feet in most of the roles it should take.

Another distinguishing characteristic of housing finance is the ability to mortgage the property to secure the loan. This means that the land laws and processes (title registration, foreclosure laws, etc.) have to be put in place to allow enforceability.

An accurate and comprehensive land registration system is a necessary condition for effective property rights. This is largely absent in Nigeria. However, it is important to mention that a few states have begun to address this problem through the setting up of several land registries at the state level.

It is pertinent that the states are encouraged to get these initiatives to a cruising altitude. At the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), tireless efforts are being made to also contribute to solving this problem through the bank’s centralised repository land and assets registry system.

At the Federal level, creating or sponsoring a Mortgage Electronic Registration System as is done in the United States and other emerging markets will also help to increase the ability to mortgage properties.

Social housing delivery is therefore housing delivery that not only provide good quality and affordable housing, but allocates its benefit equitably between the rich and the poor. It also regenerates the environment rather than destroying it.

Also, it empowers the poor to have access to decent homes at affordable cost rather than mitigating or excluding them. In sum, it can be described as housing delivery system which gives priority to the disadvantaged groups, enlarging their housing choice and opportunities and giving
them a say in decisions that affect their housing needs and lives (Agbola and Alabi, 2000).

Maduka Nweke

COCMEGG commends FMBN on its positive efforts towards affordable housing

 

The Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG) has lauded the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for making homeownership affordable, available and less cumbersome to Nigerian workers.

The affordable home ownership according to the group will drive growth of the economy. A statement issued in Abuja and signed by the president, Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele and publicity secretary, Comrade Inuwa Sule, respectively said the FMBN under the leadership of Ahmed Musa Dangiwa is raising the hope of Nigerians desiring to have houses of their own.

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This is following the organisation’s appraisal of the bank’s efforts in carrying out its regulatory roles and functions as enshrined in the Act establishing it.


“COCMEGG passes a vote of confidence on the hierarchy of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), under Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, for its forthrightness, vision and strategies in seeing to it that the average workers, middle income earners and the common man on the streets have a home to lay their heads and therefore, called on all relevant stakeholders in the industry to support and partner with the institutional development, transformational philosophy and revolution presently taking place at the FMBN and key in for the overall prosperity of the Nigerian workers,” it stated.

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The statement lauded introduction of the zero equity on loans to Nigerian workers by the bank for the implementation of a new approved condition for accessing loans from the National Housing Fund (NHF). The group added that the initiative will lead to the reduction of hardship presently experienced by Nigerians in having access to building their own houses. “It is indeed a strategic initiative that will not only drive the mortgage industry but the economy as a whole as it will also boost and encourage people at the grassroots by enriching their wellbeing and making life easy for Nigerians by engaging more people in the construction sector.”

The World Bank had estimated that Nigeria has a housing deficit of about 17 million units and the FMBN has therefore, designed the NHF to mobilise funds to provide the citizens with affordable residential houses through accredited PMBs with the lowest rate possible. “Since the present leadership took over the helms of affairs, it has been plethora of initiatives, as the apex mortgage body has experienced a lot of milestones ranging from good governance practice, accountability and transparency in its core operations including institutional capacity building and infrastructure development of the bank.”

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It is on record that Nigerians have never been so sensitized in the last three decades, unlike what we are seeing today towards homeownership, as the management’s strategic awareness, enlightenment and sensitisation campaign have created the needed impetus for the boost of the industry as witnessed by all today.

Tarkaa David

FCTA’s timely response to recent disasters in Abuja

 

Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been hit of recent with disasters that claimed lives and property. Some of these include the three floor building collapse at Jabi District, which killed three persons and injured six others, the recent earth tremors that unsettled the nerves of residents in and around Mpape, Gwarimpa, Garki and Kubwa, as well as the flood disaster in Kobi and Kuruduma settlement that resulted in the death of three persons and swept away houses.

Much as these disasters have been worrisome and unsettling, the reactions and subsequent actions taken by the FCT Administration, headed by the Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, to calm the nerves and guard against future occurrence have been commendable to say the least. To begin with, the FCT Minister, in company of the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa proceeded straight to the Plot 711, Cadastral Zone B04, Jabi District, Abuja site of the collapsed building to do an on the spot assessment of the situation when he received news of the sad incident.

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Upon inspecting the scene of the carnage and with the understanding that human lives was of utmost priority, the minister directed the immediate and comprehensive mobilisation of men and machines to the site of the disaster by both federal and FCT emergency agencies to join in the rescue efforts. More than seven earth moving machines were engaged in the operations including support equipment from Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMCC) and the Federal Capital Development Authority also joined in the rescue efforts and worked overnight with floodlights and other equipments to excavate the rubbles and rescue some of the people that were trapped in the debris.

Officials remained on the site on the directive of the minister, much after the FEMA and other agencies had called off operations, to completely remove the debris. It was as a result of the prolonged operation that the body of one Sadiq Aliu was discovered, vindicating the minister’s directive.

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With rescue operations over and done with, the minister set up a panel of inquiry headed by Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute, Prof. Danladi S. Matawal to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the Jabi building collapse and make recommendations within three weeks. The panel was also mandated to assess the level of regulation at the site and recommend appropriate sanction against any person found wanting. This is in addition to the suspension of some officers directly in charge of monitoring the project site, pending completion of investigations.

The FCT minister also demonstrated competence in manner he handled the recent incident of earth tremor in parts of the FCT. The minister who had earlier visited the epicenter of the tremor in Mpape, wasted no time in taking precautionary steps by directing the immediate stoppage of such activities that are capable of setting off disturbances within thin the earth, pending the outcome of investigations. As result, quarrying, mining and borehole drilling activities in the affected areas of Mpape, Gwarimpa and Garki districts of Abuja, were suspended pending when investigations would be concluded. The FCTA and other agencies of government also moved fast to allay the fears of residents by getting experts to confirm that Abuja does not sit on any fault line that could trigger major seismic disasters. The very vital earthquake monitoring seismograms was also procured by government to monitor ground disturbances.

These in my mind, are the attributes of pragmatic leadership. Bello is really an action minister and things are made easier with him on the saddle. To him the Jabi building collapse is a slap on the face and he has vowed to work extra hard in synergy with the building regulation agencies to prevent a reoccurrence of the ugly incident. The minister is also not leaving anything to chance as far disturbances within the crust are concerned.Truly the FCT minister deserves commendation for his personal and official sacrifices to make sure that the agonies that arose from the unfortunate disasters are cushioned.

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Also deserving of commendation are the emergency response to the building collapse and earth tremor by officials from the AMCC, the FCDA, the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Road Traffic Service Department of FCTA, the Nigeria Police, the military, paramilitary and ambulance services unit of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat who were able to mobilise and carry out swift rescue operations which made possible for those who were injured in the case of the building collapse to be rushed to hospital, while the dead were moved to various hospital mortuaries.

At this point, it is imperative to call on all developers, construction companies and other individuals in the FCT indeed other parts of the country to always ensure that the best standard as provided by regulatory agencies are adhered to, to avoid such unfortunate incidents as witnessed in recent time.

Danladi Akilu

How Housing Can Determine Educational, Health, and Economic Outcomes

 

Many social issues stem from a history of unstable, unaffordable, and poor-quality housing. Research shows that housing is the first rung on the ladder to economic opportunity for individuals and that a person’s access to opportunity is intrinsically linked with that of the community at large. As the gap between rents and incomes widens, it is critical that professionals in fields outside housing—including health, education, and economic development, among others—understand its central importance.

The following research shows how housing can create better educational opportunities for children, contribute to healthier people and neighborhoods, and build stronger economic foundations for families and communities.

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How housing affects educational outcomes

Children who live in a crowded household at any time before age 19 are less likely to graduate from high school and tend to have lower educational attainment at age 25.
Living in poor-quality housing and disadvantaged neighborhoods is associated with lower kindergarten readiness scores.

Homeless students are less likely to demonstrate proficiency in academic subjects. Passing rates for English language arts, math, and science exams are lower among homeless students than among their housed counterparts.

For typical households in the Fremont Unified School District, the impact of school quality on housing prices is more than three times greater than the impact found in studies in other regions. This impact matches the cost of private education for a child, suggesting that home prices act as tuition for in-demand public schools.

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Near a high-scoring public school, housing costs 2.4 times as much, or roughly $11,000 more a year, as housing near a low-scoring public school.

In one study in New York City, improvements in a school’s test scores are associated with higher home values and increased spending on residential investments (whether by owners or developers). Improving a school’s scores by one standard deviation was correlated with a 1.8 percent increase in housing values. Housing and financial instability often lead to children moving to poorer schools.

How housing affects health outcomes

Compared with New York City residents who stay in gentrifying neighborhoods, displaced residents who move to nongentrifying, low-income neighborhoods have significantly higher rates of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and mental health–related visits for about five years after displacement.

Being behind on rent, moving multiple times, and experiencing homelessness are associated with adverse health outcomes for caregivers and children and with material hardship.
Households with poor housing quality had 50 percent higher odds of an asthma-related emergency department visit in the past year.

People with mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability are less likely to receive responses to inquiries about rental housing and less likely to be invited to inspect available units.

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Renter households with children are more likely to have asthma triggers in their homes than owners. They are also more likely to have at least one child with asthma.

In a study of single-parent families living in violent neighborhoods, parents met or exceeded the national average for self-reported physical health but fell below the mental health average. Forty percent reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression and reported higher levels of stress from worrying about financial instability and concern for their children’s well-being.
In one study, older homeless adults who obtained housing during the study reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who were still homeless at follow-up.

How housing affects economic outcomes

Black per capita income is lower in regions with higher levels of economic and black-white segregation.There is a positive relationship between high levels of automobile ownership and estimated rates of foreclosure and mortgage default, suggesting that transportation costs affect housing affordability.

In Detroit, strong efforts by residents, coupled with support from community development organizations and external assistance, led to increased neighborhood housing prices in middle- and working-class neighborhoods that lost value in the foreclosure crisis. Residents’ efforts were less effective in higher-poverty neighborhoods with lower rates of owner occupancy.

The need for access to good jobs in central locations that is driving the lack of affordable housing shows that access to housing and access to opportunity are inextricably linked, which affects future intergenerational mobility.

Places with higher job accessibility by public transit are more likely to attract low-income households that do not own cars but have at least one employed worker, demonstrating that job accessibility by transit affects housing location choice.

Economically healthy cities tend to have higher rankings on economic, racial, and overall inclusion than distressed cities.

Federal housing assistance—from housing vouchers, to welfare-to-work programs, to financial coaching and incentives, and more—improves lives. Housing policies can be a tool to fight poverty and create upward mobility, making assistance a worthwhile and imperative investment in America’s future.

Veronica Gaitán

Lagos Federal Secretariat Complex should be sold – NSE Lagos Branch

– The federal government has been advised on the sale of the 15-storey federal secretariat complex in Ikoyi area of Lagos
– The call was from the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers
– The federal government was urged to collaborate with the Lagos state government to sell the building

Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Lagos branch, has advised the federal government to collaborate with the Lagos state government to sell the 15-storey federal secretariat complex in Ikoyi to save the national monument from further deterioration. NAN reports that Johnson Akinwande, the branch chairman, said both governments should reach an agreement on the facility without further delay. It was gathered that Akinwande explained that earlier moves by the federal government to sell the asset to private individuals failed because the buyer wanted to use it for purposes that contravened the Lagos master plan for the area. He also called for integrity tests and proper environmental impact assessment of the facility.

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The complex, said to have been abandoned since 1991 following the relocation of the country’s capital from Lagos to Abuja, is now a shadow of its former self. Built in 1976, the facility which served as the engine room of the federal civil service, is virtually in a ruinous state, stripped of doors, windows and other fittings, a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) check has revealed.

A section of the building formerly occupied by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which was gutted by fire is yet to be renovated. Contacted for his comment, Dickson Onoja, the director of public buildings in the federal Ministry of Housing, Abuja, said the property was no longer under the control of the ministry.

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Onoja said the Presidential Implementation Committee on the sale of federal government landed property in Abuja was in a better position to speak on the status of the secretariat.

He said: “The federal secretariat buildings in Ikoyi are no longer ours and no longer under our control as it is one of the buildings sold off some years back. I am told issues came up in relation to development control, building plan approvals and permits which are under the jurisdiction of state government.”

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Meanwhile, it was previously reported that the Nigerian Senate blocked the proposed sales of national assets by the executive arm of government. Members of the Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber registered their displeasure at the Senate on Wednesday, December 20, over the government’s proposed plans to sell the national asset.

Agency Report

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