As part of efforts to bridge the nation’s housing gap, the Federal Government has encouraged the use of cooperatives to provide housing solutions for low and medium-income earners.

The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, gave the advice while speaking at the Nigeria Affordable Housing Finance and Innovation Summit entitled, “Maximising impact of pension for equity on affordable housing delivery,” on Tuesday in Abuja.

He stated that as shelter was every human basic need, innovation must be inculcated in an efficient manner that would boost the stock of accessible homes in the country.

He said, “Shelter as we all know is a basic human need and the challenge is to provide shelter that solves the need of all levels of society. It is essential to think through how to provide affordable housing for the millions of Nigerians who need decent shelter.

“There are several initiatives to make sure housing is affordable. Yes, they have to be built but it also has to be affordable for the occupants.

“Cooperative housing is another solution to think through, and our people are used to it. So, we have to think through on how to use the method and the practices of our people in the modern era to help resolve the very important challenge of providing to millions of Nigerians.”

In his remarks, the convener, Nigerian Integrated Social Housing, Yemi Adelakun, said cooperative housing was a form of self-help and should be embraced by stakeholders in order to reduce housing deficits.

He said, “Cooperative housing is a special purpose vehicle for home ownership. Its strategic objective is to promote housing finance disruptions and leverage digital and technological innovations and cooperative principles for large-scale affordable housing delivery for low and medium-income earners.

“Affordable housing is a challenge, and that is why cooperative housing is one of the best solutions to consider. With cooperatives, you can get your loan for less than 2 per cent. Cooperatives are self-help. Let’s come together, contribute our money, and get our homes.

“When we are talking of housing for low-income earners, it has to be cost-effective. It has to be of the quality of standards; there must be basic infrastructural needs, but at the same time, the income should be able to afford it.”