In a bid to address housing affordability, the Federal government has said Nigerians will no longer spend more than 33 per cent of their annual income on yearly rent and mortgage costs.
It said this would help citizens to buy or rent housing units without having to compromise on other important needs required for adequate living in society.
This was disclosed in the newly released National Housing Strategy Framework document obtained from the Ministry of Works and Housing.
According to the ten-year strategic document, the goal will be achieved by harmonising all existing housing initiatives, improving land administration and titling, lowering housing costs, and creating a housing assistance model to meet the needs of social housing.
Part of the document read, “Nigerians deserve standard housing which is a right as espoused in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Inter Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. To this end, Nigeria’s vision for housing is to ensure all Nigerians poor alike, occupy standard housing units. This implies that Nigerians will be able to buy or rent housing units without having to compromise on other important needs required for adequate living in society. Furthermore, these houses will conducive and comfortable for human occupation.”
“This implies that no Nigerian should spend more than 33.00% of their annual disposable income on remortgage payments. This ensures that the individual or household can afford to maintain a decent standard of living in other housing areas.“
Further, it stated that quality housing for all Nigerians must meet the minimum building and design standards as specified in the Nigerian Building Code and be in compliance with UN Habitat’s living conditions, adding that the housing supply should be tailored to meet the needs of Nigerians across income levels, age groups, and locations, resulting in better outcomes for all.
The Executive Director of the Housing Development Advocacy Network, Festus Adebayo, said housing was critical for economic growth and development, emphasising its impact on major macroeconomic indicators such as employment, savings, investment, and labour productivity.
He said, “The government must really take effective action on the issue because housing should not be a mere political stunt and the incoming administration has to be committed to improving the welfare of citizens by implementing resilient and decent housing initiatives.”
In the same vein, the Executive Secretary of the Association Housing Corporation of Nigeria, Toye Eniola, said a housing corporation was the way forward for the building sector.
He said, “In a housing corporation, you have complete professionals adequately monitored for the roles they take up in building construction without interchanging roles like in the situation of a bricklayer taking the position of an engineer.”