MR Toye Eniola is the Executive Secretary, Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN). In this interview with DAYO AYEYEMI, He charge the government to come up with a deliberate policy to embark on mass housing through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and state housing corporations to revamp the economy.
How can the state housing corporations be revived to drive low and social housing?
Government support for housing corporation is very important, and this has to start with a deliberate policy to embark on social mass housing first through budget provision for housing. Secondly, by assisting them to secure long-term facilities while standing as guarantor for such housing loans.
What has been the challenges of some of these housing agencies?
Lack of commitment by successive governments because of the long-term nature of housing projects. Lack of support by the state government and usurpation of traditional responsibilities of housing corporations by ministries or sometimes creating parallel organisations through joint venture without support to existing agencies
What model can be adopted to ensure they are afloat?
Housing corporations should be supported by respective state governments to embark on provision and management of mass rental housing as well as provision of social housing with deliberate support and government’s guarantee to source long term funding at a single digit rate.
What is your take on the rising housing and materials costs?
It is a sad situation occasioned by the instability of the foreign exchange, which is dictating situations in every sector of the economy. The sector is heading to a total collapse if urgent action is not taken to arrest and stem the rising cost.
What are the implications?
The housing deficit will be widened. The middle and low-income housing will be eroded, as affordable housing will only be for the rich. Rental cost will go up and many middle and low-income earners will become homeless. This will inturn breeds high unemployment and increase crime rate in our society.
What are the solutions?
Government should come up with deliberate policy to embark on mass housing through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and state housing corporations, thereby using such project as avenue to revamp the economy.
Source: Nigerian Tribune