• Says FHFL is supporting construction of 22,000 homes in eleven States
Family Homes Fund Limited (FHFL) has said it is currently supporting the delivery of about “just under 22,000” homes across eleven states in the country.
This was said by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Family Homes Fund Limited, Mr Femi Adewole during a Zoom webinar with the theme “Housing Sector Watch: How has the Housing Industry Fared at 62” organized by the Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN) to mark the World Habitat Day.
Mr Adewole giving a report of the operations of FHFL said that at inception, it adopted an approach of direct development that involved an initial development of about 3,367 homes in five locations across the country.
He added, “Almost all of these homes are now completed with the exception of the project in Ogun State.
“There was an audit and as part of our transparency, Family Homes Funds subjected itself to a number of audits in 2020 and as at December, 2020, about 1000 of those homes have been sold.
“Of course we are in October 2022 now and as at the last time I checked, which was three weeks ago, 78-79 percent of those homes have been sold.”
He also alluded that FHFL used the initial development projects as a learning curve and has now crafted new initiatives towards bridging the disparity between supply and demand for its low-cost houses.
He said, “We quickly found out that it was not about building homes, Nigerians need access to financing to buy these homes. We found out that for people on low income, the project for instance which cost N3 million for a one-bedroom unit is not even affordable for some civil servants, even those at level 8.”
He noted that the realistic challenges facing the housing sector has made FHFL adapt innovative ideas and solutions.
One of such solutions Mr Adewole highlighted was the Help-To-Own Product that provides equity for prospective home owners by giving them an interest-free loan for up to five years to pay for 40% of the home cost which automatically reduces the burden and cost of the home in question.
The programme the FHFL MD revealed has received a $6 million donation from the Africa Development Bank which is the bank’s largest investment in housing in its history.
Another Product launched by FHFL is the Rent-to-Own approach which enables low-income earners occupy these homes by paying rent while also retaining the option to buy.
Mr Adewole added that about 120 homes in Nasarawa are currently being occupied by staff of a particular government agency under this product.
Describing further the operations of the FHFL, the MD said “All of these taught us a lesson that we needed to be clear on what the role of the FHFL is. One, we shouldn’t be building, two, we shouldn’t be selling houses and therefore the business model changed in 2020 to primarily providing finances to public and private developers.
“So we now have significant financial exposure through loans and equity in about eleven states of the country and growing almost on a weekly basis, that is what is adding up to just under 22,000 homes that the FHFLs is supporting.”
Mr Adewole also said that the new approach of FHFL has seen it working directly with four mortgage banks and two commercial banks in its Help-To-Own initiative which will provide about 5000 mortgage to low-income earners, a 100 percent increase on the number of mortgage that is currently being issued in the country.
He hinted that the organization will soon launch a product that is aimed at providing housing for students.
The new business model adapted by FHFL has also led to the creation of 84,000 direct jobs and strengthening the economy which has seen the organization collaborate with the Timber Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, aimed at making about 378,000 doors amongst others.