Stakeholders have urged government to create an enabling environment to stimulate ideas on affordable housing, as well as creating a decent atmosphere for investment to thrive.

They observed that land assembly and ownership are highly dependent on the government, as a result, the government must be proactive in ensuring ease of access to land, while also promoting private sector collaboration in affordable housing schemes.

In a communique issued after the 16th Africa international housing show held in Abuja, the stakeholders drawn from the public and private sectors, said housing financing bodies should be allowed to operate with full autonomy with efforts made to not only finance new homes but also ensure allocation of money for renovation of existing structures to meet global standards.

According to them, alternative funding for housing, including non-interest finance options such as Sukuk and Infra Credit must be adopted to produce housing on a large scale, adding that the impact of inflationary environment on housing sector must be addressed to ensure affordable mortgages.

“The government must boost support for the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company to enable it access the capital market competitively to refinance mortgages. This is critical in deepening and increasing access for Nigerians on low-income to housing, particularly home finance.”

They said solving the challenge of severe housing deficit requires creating linkages between provision of land to property developers, through increased availability of housing finance, to a reduction in property transaction costs.

According to them, housing sector offers enormous economic opportunities in times of downturn and the best way to reach sustainable debt levels and fiscal balance is economic growth through consumption and investment.

They said governments at various levels, having recognised the importance of housing, must embark on reforms and interventions in this sector to bridge the existing deficit. This should include setting up policies to actualse some brick-and-mortar projects.

Similarly, they noted that the capital market could be a good engine for driving economic growth and development because fixing the housing problem cannot be left to the government alone. Hence, the capital market is needed in pooling the much-needed capital to drive the housing sector.

“It is important to take into consideration the urgent need to promote use of existing and new instruments in the market that can be used by developers, private sector participants, governments, and other stakeholders to raise and deploy capital into the housing sector.

They called on government owned housing agencies to improve on their performances, saying investment in exchange platforms, market infrastructures and technology can aid developing innovative solutions to bridge the housing gap.

“The impact of the inflationary environment on the housing sector must be addressed to ensure affordable mortgages, while equity market capitalisation can help expand the reach of projects that could be undertaken, hence, helping to solve financing challenges.”

“The real estate industry has largely recovered from the slippage caused by the covid-19 epidemic. However, deficits in urban areas can be addressed with proper linkage between landowners and Real Estate managers. Capital instruments can also be used to drive Real Estate in Nigeria.

“Long-term financing should be encouraged by mortgage financing bodies. Housing cannot be affordable when everything in the chain is not affordable. Invariably, investors will only bring money when there is value in the chain of production.

“In giving out mortgages, income must be verified and accepted by banks and loan amortisation terms must be predetermined, while an interest subsidy is provided to encourage lenders to participate and also reduce the rate of risk,” they added.

The event aims to synergise the efforts of both the government and private sector, as well as structured to bring an end to rivalry between professionals within the housing sector by promoting collaboration among key players in the industry.

The conference seeks to address the issue of environmental sustainability in recognition of the fact that green housing and funding have become very prevalent in the world amid a global call to tackle climate change.