RENTAL HOUSING: OUR NEW INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS EFFECT OF COVID-19 HOUSING CHALLENGES
We have observed in the recent past the increasing rate of housing shortage in Nigeria especially in our state capitals without adequate supply of both outright sale and rental affordable housing in decent environment to match the demand. The Corona Virus Disease, COVID-19 exposed the poor standard of living without healthy environment for the well-being of the people and their family in most states.
As part of the Association’s efforts in addressing the current over 17 million housing shortage and the poor healthy environment in Nigeria, we are embarking on development of decent rental housing with all healthy facilities as immediate palliative measure to address the critical housing shortages in all the state capitals under our programme tagged “Eradicating Homelessness Scheme Initiative (ERAHOMS).
The Nigerian residential housing market is characterized by a huge deficit estimated at approximately about 20 million housing units. Strong and so many economic fundamentals such as a huge population and rising urbanization continue to put pressures on the housing market resulting in huge deficit without matching supply. It was estimated that a minimum 700,000 housing units are required to keep up with the country’s growing population and urban migration.
However, various surveys of the Nigerian housing sector estimated that 80% of Nigerians live in rented accommodation and the Nigerian residential rental market is pre-dominantly informal, especially in the affordable segment where rent levels are set speculatively without benchmarks or an orderly market. There is a prevalence of lack of formal contracts wherein landlord / tenant responsibilities are not clearly defined and tenures are at the discretion of the landlord. The quality of most affordable rental housing is typically poor, with most houses lacking basic services and tenant’s rights are most times not protected in a majority of the informal contracts executed between landlords and tenants.
The ever-increasing migration of people into the major cities in the country in pursuit of greener pastures has made the quest for securing decent accommodation in the main cities a herculean task, which only few privileged individuals can afford. Many Nigerians make do with squatting with family relations or friends, while others manage in squalor and unhygienic accommodations where the rents are within reach. There is hardly any recognized and operational Rental Housing Institution that provides well-structured and formal Rental Housing targeted at the medium to low income segment in existence throughout the country
This has motivated us as an Association to service this segment of the market with development of a minimum of at least 500 units of rental housing in all state capitals in the first phase of the development which will help to alleviate the housing challenges of the people arising from the post COVID-19 which affected most Nigerians.
With our commitment to affordable housing for the people, the housing units are proposed to be developed for qualified Nigerian workers who do not have lump sum to buy houses out-rightly but interested in rental housing that could be converted to rent-to-own in future. Our new Rental regime shall focus more on monthly deduction directly from the monthly income of the subscribers through their employers to help the masses reduce pressure of up-front annual or sometime two years rents as usually demanded by shylocks landlords. The initiative is fashion out to change the face of rental housing in Nigeria. A sound facility management to ensure functional infrastructures and maintenance of the aesthetic structures of proposed new estates across all the states have been put in place to address poor maintenance culture that characterized most housing estates in Nigeria. The first phase is starting shortly before the end of the last quarter of this year.
The Association is collaborating with Family Homes Funds Ltd and other major stakeholders in the housing sector to kick-start this new initiative of affordable housing for the people.
Apart from this first phase of rental housing, arrangements are also in top gear to develop affordable housing for outright sales on mortgage with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria providing loans for the potential buyers to buy the houses on completion. We are in partnership with Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in respect of this project and we are concluding arrangement with Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) to fast track the processing of the NHF for interested and qualified mortgage seekers.