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Stakeholders Applaud FHFL Performance in Affordable Housing Delivery

One of the most challenging problems for Nigeria over the decades has been the delivery of affordable and sufficient housing for the country’s teeming, productive population. While considerable efforts have been put in place through policies and establishment of housing development agencies, there is still a significant gap and huge need to meet.

In 2018, the Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL) – an establishment of the Federal Government of Nigeria – became fully operational, kickstarting the mission to provide affordable homes for families on low-income, with the complimentary responsibility of creating jobs and promoting local production of building materials. Despite the significant need for affordable housing in Nigeria, the market has few local developers with the technical and financial strength to build large-scale projects.

Getting off the mark, FHFL had to contend with obvious barriers to affordable housing including high inflation, access to land, cost of construction, and limited purchasing power on the demand side. Nonetheless, the first initiative was the development of 2,304 homes across five states – Ogun, Kano, Delta, Kaduna and Nasarawa, which are today referred to as the FHFL Legacy Estates. Few years down the line, through partnerships with several state governments, FHFL has financed the development of 13,014 homes, creating about 60,000 direct and indirect jobs in the process, with a pipeline of additional 20,000 homes due in 2024. With the ambition of creating spaces of modern living, the homes are with necessary amenities and within areas of easy access.

Although there is a long way to go in meeting the huge housing need in Nigeria, a lot of stakeholders are recognizing the importance of the work that is being done by Family Homes Funds in continually paving the path for affordable home ownership in Nigeria.

Recognized for three years in a row as the affordable Housing Company of the year, the organizers of the Nigeria Housing Awards have severally noted that Family Homes Funds is addressing the housing shortage in Nigeria with a unique and different approach. FHFL according to them has learnt from the grievous mistakes that were made in the past by housing agencies.

“FHFL is delivering affordable housing for families that need it the most by working together with professionals, state governments, credible developers, training institutes and others. This has been our long call – the need for collaboration. Stakeholders ought to emulate Family Homes Funds by pulling resources and knowledge together to address what has been an agelong problem. We will continue to encourage them and the work that they do,’’ said the organizers.

Also, with notable impact in job creation, FHFL has been commended by Mallam Bello Kabir of Brains and Hammers Ltd for creating up to 60,000 jobs to support low-income families, artisans, developers, painters, suppliers, carpenters, food vendors and many more across its project sites all over the country. From Zamfara to Lagos, Kaduna to Delta, Family Homes Funds projects have engaged a lot of workers, building homes for low-income families.

Housing

“All over the world, housing remains a vital gateway to improving the quality of life and of the economy as well. It is very commendable to see the ripple effect that the building of these homes are having in the areas of job creation and of course in the production of local building materials,’’ he said.

Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL) is also responding to challenges on the demand side through partnerships with mortgage banks across the country, providing structured mortgages for families on low-income.

One of such partnerships is with the Cooperative Mortgage Bank (CMB), whose corporate goal like FHFL is to make home ownership easy for low-income earners, especially for members of cooperatives. Since January 2022, the relationship between FHFL and CMB has created home ownership opportunities for at least 432 families in 4 FHFL estates in Nasarawa, Delta, Kaduna, and Kano.

According to the management of CMB, the partnership with Family Homes Funds is presenting a great opportunity to increase access to home ownership, especially for low-income families. Through the option of installment payment, the low-income families can move into their homes, while focusing on other essential needs of the household.

The partnership with mortgage banks to support low-income families has proven very effective in increasing access to housing. When low-income families know they can afford their home or mortgage, it frees up their ability to spend more on other essential items and cater for their household.

Housing is very key to reducing poverty and inequality. Without affordable housing, families have constrained opportunities to increase earnings, causing slower GDP growth. Even children living in stable, affordable homes are more likely to thrive in school and have greater opportunities to learn inside and outside the classroom.

FHFL Affordable Housing Estate in Asaba, Delta state
Now with footprints across every region of the country, FHFL can look back and see the difference it has made, but not without losing focus of the massive need ahead, and how challenging it really is. However, lessons from the past will now prove vital in confronting the future.

FHFL Affordable Housing Estate on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun state
FHFL is continuously looking forward, determined to always live by its mantra of changing lives through strong partnerships, knowledge sharing and innovation. Today, the challenges with delivering affordable and decent housing are well known, and only a few are ready to invest time and resources. Despite this, FHFL wants to be recognized as a leader in that respect, helping Nigeria fight poverty and inequality through the delivery of affordable housing, job creation and supporting the growth of the local economy.

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