The Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority, Gbenga Ashafa, has revealed that FHA has constructed and completed about 149,000 housing units in the last 50 years of its existence.

He also revealed that a sum of N500 billion is needed to address the housing gap in the country.

Ashafa disclosed this at a press briefing Speaking to journalists, the MD noted that housing is a critical sector of the economy and the agency has done its bit by providing 49,000 units in direct construction and 100,000 units through partnerships with private developers.

He stated, “Before the directive that mandated us to be fully privatised before it was changed to a partially commercialised agency, we were able to do so much and that was how to kick start the Diamond Estate projects, Festac Town, Abesan I, IV, V, and VI. We moved to Ogun State and we have built so many estates.

“A lot of funds were available and we were able to build 49,000 houses in direct construction by FHA. Also, over 100,000 units have been built when you look at partnerships with private developers all around the capital city and other states.

“In total, we would be looking at over 149,000 units of housing built in 50 years and we are prepared to do more with the renewed hope model that is coming in.”

Ashafa, who complained about the amendment of its Act that changed its operations from a government wholly owned agency to a partly funded institution, stressed that the authority has made housing affordable for Nigerians.

He said, “Let us be modest. First, we are not in the budget of the federal government. We are trying to be modest and if something reasonable will be given to us so we can be able to assist in building, and an amendment to the Act is done in such a way that we can enter that Federal Government budget. I won’t be asking for less than N500 billion to start because there is a lot to be covered.

“As we know there is housing deficits but we are not sure of the number but we know there is a housing deficit.

“We are starting from somewhere and this rent-to-home is where we are going to improve during this administration.”

He also reiterated the agency’s commitment to allow more persons access to its rent-to-own scheme to reduce the number of homeless Nigerians.

Ashafa also revealed that the event is expected to be attended by President Bola Tinubu, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, Minister of State, Abdullahi Gwarzo while the former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, will deliver the keynote address.

Source: Punch