The federal government has been advised to look beyond brick-and-mortar structures and adopt creative ways and policies to provide mass housing.
The MD/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, Uzo Oshogwe, gave the advice at the 2022 edition of the Africa International Housing Show held in Abuja, recently, stating that there is a need to adopt a different approach for the government to achieve its aim of providing mass housing for all.
She said, “We keep hearing about the 17–20 million housing deficit and it seems the story will never change. The real truth is that we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. There must be a drastic change in the thought process to providing affordable housing for citizens within the low to mid Income bracket.”
Oshogwe urged the government to invest more in research and development in the area of alternative building materials and methods to ensure affordable housing for all citizens. She stated, “There are many other local building materials and methods that significantly lower the cost of construction, and government should be proactive enough to invest in them. Proper investment should be made in research and development to open up more inroads into affordable construction technology so that we can build cheaper, more affordable homes in a shorter time.”
The Afriland Chief Executive restated the importance of housing and having access to finance for home ownership. She pointed out, “Owning or renting a decent home is not a luxury or a nice to have; It is a necessity and a human right. Most financial institutions regard it as a high-risk venture and as a result, there are high-interest rates associated with finance for home construction or purchase. In this regard, the NHF must do better to ensure more NHF Contributors have access to NHF loans . There are a lot of difficulties associated with accessing finance under the NHF’s current structure. This must be addressed, as this will give an alternative option to financing homeownership.
It will be recalled that Afriland properties recently announced the launch of five new development projects as part of its plans to diversify its real estate investment portfolio. These include The Rouge, Ikoyi Lagos; Iris Court, Aromire Ikeja; The Emporium, Trans Amadi PH; Afriland Mall, Abule Egba and Afriland Estate, Karmo Abuja.
Afriland Properties Plc is a property management, investment, and development company, offering end-to-end services along the real estate value chain, from management to joint-venture investments. With a portfolio size of over N10 billion and one of the largest land banks in Nigeria, Afriland is pioneering the opportunities presented by an institutional approach to real estate, serving niche markets throughout Africa.