Nigeria needs N56 trillion to fix housing shortfall for the low and medium incomes groups
Low supply of affordable housing as against increasing demand has been listed as a major factor responsible for accommodation crisis in Nigeria.
Affordable Housing Advocate and Mortgage Consultant, Mr. Kunle Faleti, said this in chat with New Telegraph in Lagos.
Specifically, he said shortage in supply of houses for people to buy or apartments to rent had made the few available houses too expensive for accommodation seekers.
Consequently, he said that the chance of people in getting accommodation was being worsened daily among Nigerians.
Currently, Nigeria has over 17 million housing deficit, according to the United Nations’ estimates. However, government would have to build one million housing units every year in the next 20 years to bridge accommodation gap.
As at the last count, experts at different fora said the nation would need N56 trillion to provide these houses.
However, Faleti noted that prices of the few available houses were beyond what many people could afford.
In his document on: “Can housing for all be a reality in Nigeria?” the affordable housing expert pointed out that every Nigerian deserves safe and affordable place to call home.
“Where housing supply is limited and new housing construction is not keeping up with demand, the cost to purchase or rent house has risen to the point of unaffordability for many individuals and families.”
For too many hard-working Nigerians, especially those who are just entering the work force, he said their desire to have access to housing looked like an impossible task.
“There are not enough houses for people to buy, or apartments for people to rent. That makes finding a good place to live too expensive – beyond what many people can afford,” he said.
Another major challenge, Faleti, who is a member of International Federation for Housing and Planning, said, was the fact that income/wages of workers were not increasing at the same rate at which cost of housing delivery was increasing.
He said: “Building materials, cost of borrowing and cost of lending are increasing, for their earnings to catch up with the cost of acquiring decent houses within their affordability “comfort zone.”
Besides, he lamented that many lower income and middle class citizens have been struggling to find, maintain and afford a good place to live in most of Nigeria’s largest cities such as Lagos, Makurdi, Port-Harcourt, Abuja, Owerri, Calabar, Kaduna, Ibadan and Ilorin.
On ways forward, Faleti stated that increasing housing supply would help ensure that house prices grow at a more moderate pace, keeping home-ownership or renting more affordable for more Nigerians.
Besides, he said increasing housing supply would help in keeping property markets accessible for future generations.
He recalled that Nigeria had existed policies, programmes and initiatives, adding that “in actual fact, the issue of policy formulation has never been the problem of Nigeria, but the problem has always been that of policy implementation.”
He equally recalled that over the past three decades, there had been so many policies and initiatives introduced or formulated by successive governments in the country, noting that most of them have failed at solving the country’s housing problems.
“The problem has always been that of transforming programs and policies into reality,” Faleti said.
“The success or failure of the current administration on affordable housing will be measured by the number of housing units built and purchased by Nigerians who earn N100,000 or less monthly, over the next four years.”
According to Faleti, one of the biggest ills militating against the attainment of affordable housing for all Nigerians was injustice, advising that government must, as a matter of utmost urgency, increase fairness in affordable housing delivery and distribution through strengthening of guidelines, frameworks and compliance in Nigeria’s housing market.