Housing provision has always been a major concern of the federal and state governments across the country. But despite all efforts by various governments to provide housing for their people, housing decifit in Nigeria is growing by the day. This is bcause the right approach or solution to housing problem in the nation has not be found.

According to Mr Babajide Durojaiye, Managing Director, Legrande Properties, “Rent-to-Own” is the solution to housing problem in Nigeria.

Durojaiye explained that the low income group who constitute the population of the people that need houses but cannot afford the cost due to their low earning power can fulfil their dream of becoming home owners through rent-to-own scheme.

He said with this arrangement, more low income earners will become home owners, which will reduce the huge housing gap of the country.

Explaining how the scheme works, he noted that mortgage loan is involved for people with low credit score to be part of the scheme, pointing out that once a subscriber has a source of income where his or her mortgage institution can deduct his or her monthly rent, home ownership is guaranteed after the last monthly.

He stated that apart from living the apartment without completely paying for it, another benefit of rent-to-own scheme is that the property will grow in value while the owner is still paying for it, pointing out for instance that, if the value of the property now is N46 million, and he or she is expected to complete his or her rent payment in seven or eight years as the case may be, the value of the same property would have risen to about N65 million.

“The scheme will allow subscribers to make rent payments every month, and a portion of the payment will count towards their down payment to own their homes”, Legrande Properties boss stated.

Speaking at an interactive session with property journalists during the inspection tour of Alexandra Court, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Thursday, Durojaiye who said the solution to Nigeria’s housing problem is rent-to-own housing scheme, disclosed that his company has delivered 11 housing estates so far. Some of the housing projects include Mende 1 and 2, Alexandra Court, GRA Ikeja, Alexandra Court Ibeju-Lekki, Courtland Villa Estate, Jakande, Lekki.

Alexandra Court is a 5,000-unit housing development being developed by Legrande Properties Ltd under Lagos Coastal City Scheme. Its cost is put at whopping N48 billion.

On the sprawling Alexandra Court in Ibeju-Lekki, Durojaiye said the project is sitting on 400 hectares of land, pointing out that the phase1 of the project is sitting on 215 hectares. He noted that phase 1 which comprises 12 blocks of various housibg types is expected to be delivered in March 2024 while phase 2 which comprises 16 blocks of various housing types is expected to be delivered in December 2024.

Dislosing that the sand-filling of the expansive land has thickness of 1.6 metres, he said the estate will depend on independent power project of up to 70-75 mega watts to generate power for resiodents of the estate.

According to him, “Apart from stable power supply, strict security, internet connection, playground, swimming pool, recreational facilities, central sewage system, health centre and the rest, the estate comes with solar system and helipad for helicopters to land in the estate.

For proposed subscribers to easy access to the units, Legrande Properties boss explained that mortgage loans would be made available to offtakers who are contributors to the National Housing Fund NHF, scheme up to the tune of N15 million. He said the prices of housing units in the estate

range between N36million and N46 million, while a plot of land costs N22 million.

He noted that his firm has put in place flexible payment plan to enhance homeownership in the estate, adding that apart from outright purchase, there is milestone payment without the usage of NHF which includes 30 percent of a unit price within seven days upon acceptance of the offer letter, 30 per cent upon completion of the first slab, 20 percent completion of the third slab, 10 per cent upon commencement of internal finishes, and another 10 per cent upon completion.

Legrande helmsman who disclosed that the payment milestone is for12 months only, said for NHF payment plan, the breakdown is as follows: 30 per cent; 20 per cent before FMBN would issue N15 million to the developer on behalf of subscribers of three bedroom flats; N4 million upon completion of third slab and N4 million upon completion.

He however, noted that the title document would be issued to FMBN in trust for the repayment of the loan and upon completion of the payment of the loan sum which takes 30 years depending on the subscriber’s current age, the title document will be handed over to subscriber by FMBN.

Stating that low cost housing will be difficult to achieve in Lagos state, Durojaiye said this is because of high cost of land in Lagos, adding that those thinking of low cost housing in Lagos should think of remote places outside Lagos.