The Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) says it is focusing on the provision of organised rental housing by collaborating with the Family Homes Funds (FHF) Limited to kick-start a pilot scheme.

According to the president of AHCN, Dr Victor Onukwugha , this has become imperative in order to avail Nigerians, who were  unable to afford outright purchase, the opportunity to have a roof on their heads.

He therefore, solicited the support of state governments to assist their state housing corporations to collaborate with the AHCN to achieve the desired objectives

Onukwugha pointed out that one critical area that had been neglected over the years was the provision of organised rental housing which, according to him, ought to have taken care of those who were unable to afford outright purchase.

He said “This rental initiative will be taken to all state capitals to help mitigate the pressure of housing challenges in our cities. We are therefore soliciting for the support of state governments to assist their state housing corporations to collaborate with the association in all states of the federation to achieve the desired objectives.

“Apart from the above rental housing, we are also embarking on creation of Agric-Villages and Farm Settlement where agriculture shall be used to drive housing at the local and rural level in all local governments thereby creating job opportunities for millions of jobless youths across the country.”

This, he said, explained why sustainable and continuous flow of housing finance is highly needed and necessary for the sustenance of housing initiatives by both public and private housing agencies.

“There is no doubt that state housing agencies have potential to meet the housing needs of the people but this cannot be achieved without the support of the state governments.  It is therefore important that governments should engage and support their Federal and State Housing Agencies to make those corporations more relevant to their statutory responsibilities in ensuring housing availability and affordability across Nigeria,” the AHCN boss said.

Advising stakeholders in the sector, Onukwugha stated that time and situation have been changing, and that they could not afford to do things the way they have been doing it and expect to get results that will solve emerging challenges.

“It is time therefore to work together as stakeholders to holistically tackle our housing problems. Housing sector has potential that can be tapped for driving our economic recovery if only we choose to get our act together to tackle the housing deficit and affordability challenge.  It is time to deviate from just talking without matching it with action,” he said.

The AHCN boss urged that stakeholders in the sector must embrace partnership options to help one another with strong advocacy groups to influence decisions at all levels of policy formulation and implementation.

Source : Nigerian Tribune