The Federal Government has rolled out modalities for accessing the national housing project that has already commenced in the 33 states of the federation.
It said, this became imperative as a huge chunk of the country’s population are excluded from formal processes that ensure access to funding, land or housing.
Minister of Power, works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated this at the weekend in a meeting with housing stakeholders in Abuja.
To this end, he said the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) are being repositioned to play their role more effectively to address the housing problem.
“While our National Housing Programme, is the first of its type on a National scale in many decades that seeks to respond to the deficit, government agencies such as the Federal Mortgage Bank, Federal Housing Authority are being repositioned to play their role more effectively to address the Housing problem.
For example, the Federal Housing Authority has been mandated by the ministry to reposition herself to be one of our champions of housing delivery based on her previous track record,” he said.
The Minister disclosed the use of co-operatives as a means of intervention for low income earners to accessing the housing project.
According to him, the co-operatives have been very prolific and successful in sectors like agriculture and market organisations where the vulnerability of an individual is transformed into the strength of a group.
“Our Government sees no reason why the successes of co-operatives in these sectors cannot be utilised to facilitate housing delivery, access and inclusion,” he added.
Fashola expressed the Federal Government’s readiness to support groups who can form themselves into co-operatives, as enabling capacity to acquire the land, take loans, build for themselves and operate a rent to own policy for those who cannot pay full ownership cost at start.
“If we do this and also successfully implement the housing cooperatives, leverage private sector capacity, strengthen FHA and FMBN to play their roles, we will be creating a housing economy that will irreversibly and positively transform our nation forever.
“Not only will we be addressing one of the problems of urbanisation, we will unleash the capacity to build for inclusion, for growth and prosperity.
“In this way, the size of the deficit of housing will become an economic opportunity to immense proportions rather than a social burden to be scared of,” Fashola added.
He explained that the Federal Mortgage Bank has continued to deepen participation in the National Housing Fund which according to him forms a reliable pool of funding, from which it lends money to contributors by way of mortgage loans to acquire houses.
He added that the FMBN had granted loans to estate developers to build houses; stressing that their recent report showed that about 3,823 housing units are currently available for sale in various states of the federation.