The United Nation’s statistics indicated that the housing deficit in Nigeria is estimated at 22 million homes and in bridging the gap, experts have identified greater participation of private estate developers in a process that should be driven by the government with a well-articulated policy direction, backed with a strong political will that will ultimately lead to resolving the housing crisis bedevilling the country.

No doubt, housing deficit is one of the myriads of problems the country is currently challenged with; several statistics have been quoted to have estimated houses in Nigeria to be around 10.7 million units but tens of millions of the populace still don’t have access to quality and affordable housing. Several causative variables which include migration density from rural to urban areas, growing population, substantial changes in the socio-economic structure, increasing purchasing power and poor sectoral investments have triggered demand for houses.

There has been a steady rise in the shortfalls noticed in the provision of housing to Nigerians; the deficit rose from seven million in 1991 to 12 million in 2007; the figure jumped to 14 million in 2010 and currently sits at about 22 million units. The figure actually shows that Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest demand for houses in Africa, Ghana with about 30 million population has a deficit of between 1.7- 2.6 million units followed by Kenya with 52 million people grappling with shortfalls of about 2million units the same figure that Uganda has.

South Africa has around a 2.5million units shortfall while Ethiopia faces about 1.2 million. Experts have also estimated that only 10 per cent of those who desire to own houses in Nigeria can actually do so but the story is changing with the profound involvement of the private sector in the delivery of affordable housing to Nigerians. However, it is important to note that many of the new housing construction caters for upper-income households but one of the biggest players in the industry Address Homes believes there is a need to also service the middle-income earners and prepare a payment plan that can fit into their budget as a way of reducing housing deficit. The Chairman of Address Homes, Dr Bisi Onasanya, revealed that the property company characteristically offers flexible payment plans to enable home buyers to spread payments at their convenience.

He believes adopting such a model will allow middle- income earners who desire to own houses to achieve their dreams. “The fundamental goal of the firm was to provide smart homes which could boast of the basic amenities that were reflective of global best property development practices,,” he said during a media tour of some of its completed and ongoing projects by journalists.

“We didn’t venture into The Address Homes to make money, even though every business is set out to make money. The real intention, for me, is to allow us to do something different from the way previous participants and players in real estate have done.

“We are very competitive in terms of pricing, but more importantly, we are very flexible in our payment structure. We allow people to dictate to us within a particular time frame, how they want to structure their payments during construction. “Even at that, we’ve had instances where we completed the project, but people had difficulty making the final payment. They make a special request for us to allow them to move into the property without completing payment, and yet we still oblige them.” “All these have endeared us to the few people who have had the opportunity to interact with us and to enjoy the services that we offer. So, when I see those things, they make me feel proud that what we set out to achieve, we are on course.

“In doing that also, we have also succeeded in contributing to bridging the housing deficit. Right now, we play in the medium market sector essentially, and today we have a total of, both ongoing and completed, over 250 units of houses and still counting.

I have mentioned why we are different. We don’t make noise and we don’t tell you you must break the bank to access our services. For every single estate that we have built, we make sure that we do not just hand over the keys to you, we follow you and make sure we provide facilities management to make living in those estates very convenient and comfortable for you. We also provided some guarantees of a minimum of five to 10 years on the structure so that if anything happens to the windows and doors, we take responsibility. We provide you with 24 hours electricity, CCTV, security, water and others.”

Having stamped its authority in the luxury property market within the shortest time of coming into the real estate industry through the successful completion of about 54 units of mid-luxury detached and semi-detached properties in Osapa London, 31 units of luxury homes at Ilasan, opposite Ikate, in Lekki, Lagos, the Address Homes has added two new home schemes christened The Luxuria by The Address Homes and Dan & Dan Apartments in Ikoyi and Banana Island to its stables. These maisonette homes, industry experts and many stakeholders affirmed, are definitely like no other, and could only have been delivered by The Address Homes, which prides itself as an “address of distinction”, where standards, innovation, newness and fresh perspectives thrive.

The two luxury brands, on completion, are expected to deliver cosy homes that combine exquisite design with high-level finishes within Ikoyi, Lagos. According to the Address Homes management, the construction of the two deluxe contemporary homes, which commenced in 2021, is expected to be completed in 2023. Upon completion, the project will comprise 18 luxury houses, ranging from five-bedroom fully detached houses to five-bedroom semi-detached houses and four-bedroom terrace houses. Onasanya said: “We believe there is a need to inject some integrity into the real estate business.

We also believe at times that quality was a bit deficient and there is a need to do things mostly to some level of international standards, irrespective of where you are. We wanted to come into the industry and put up structures that we can call homes, not houses. These are homes that will compete with the best that you can see outside of the country, and yet without making you break the bank in terms of being able to pay or affordability. We see people trying to relocate from abroad – Canada, the United States of America (US) and Europe. There is a minimum standard of living they have been used to.

They like to enter a home and there are basic things they look to see, the environment they also like to see. We found that these are missing to some extent. We wanted a situation in which you live in the Address Homes and you are proud because of the comfortability we offer. That is what we believe in. That’s what we have been able to do. Have we done everything? We’ve done our best, but we still believe that we’ll keep improving”. Speaking further, Onasanya noted that all of the firm’s construction projects were subjected to periodic integrity tests by the Lagos State Government to ensure compliance to set standards and also ensure standards for home buyers.

Source : New Telegraph