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3rd NAHFIS Expo Kicks Off With Optimism About Innovative Solutions for Affordable Housing

Organisers and speakers at the 3rd Nigeria Affordable Housing Finance and Innovation Summit (NAHFIS) and Expo have expressed their optimism about the prospects of the event providing innovative solutions for large scale delivery of affordable housing in Nigeria.

The two day event began on Wednesday and is taking place at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.

The event with theme, ‘’Innovative solutions for large scale delivery of affordable housing,’’ and Sub-theme, ‘Cooperative and demand driven approach to affordable housing,’’ attracted leading stakeholders in the housing sector from Nigeria and abroad to realise sustainable approaches to housing development.

According to the organisers, the objectives of NAHFIS 2019 is to proffer rapid and efficient access to affordable housing (rented and owned) by low and middle income earners both in the formal and informal sectors of the Nigeria economy. The summit will focus on technological innovations, housing finance models, off-takers’ cooperatives, public-private partnerships and their implications for large scale delivery of affordable housing.

While speaking to Africa Housing News at the event, the MD/CEO of NISH Affordable Housing Limited and Conference Convener, Yemi S.K Adelakun said this year’s conference will highlight some innovative strategies that will enhance the delivery of affordable housing in Nigeria.

He said, ‘’It is common knowledge that there is huge deficit in Nigeria especially in the low and medium income range. Housing deficit in Nigeria is estimated to be between 17 to 22 million. The challenges leading to housing deficit in Nigeria must be addressed deliberately and systematically if we are able to achieve significant and sustainable success in delivering affordable housing to the teeming population of Nigeria. Towards this end, various housing stakeholders have individual and collective roles to play in surmounting these challenges and turning the challenges to opportunities. This summit will attempt to unravel these housing challenges and proffer innovative solutions for delivering affordable housing on a large scale and cost effective manner.’’

According to him the most critical and most elusive success factor that affects all other success factors is finance, which is the major focus of NAHFIS Expo.

‘’We need finance to buy land, technologies, building materials, infrastructure and pay workers and professionals. We also need finance to buy or rent completed houses. Finance is in short supply and very costly. We need both construction and mortgage finance. The prevailing approach is to provide construction finance without making adequate provision for offtakers’ finance to buy or rent the completed houses from developers. This is why there are so many houses in locations nobody wants to live and at prices nobody can afford.

‘’Without finance to give offtakers the purchasing power to buy houses, housing deficit figure remains a mere want or wish. We need to turn the want for housing demand through adequate access to housing finance at affordable prices. NISH Affordable housing is advocating effective demand driven approach to solving the intractable problem of delivering affordable housing. This approach will enable us to determine the needs and affordability and finding sources of offtakers before commencing construction. By financing offtakers, we will indirectly be financing the developers. This approach will encourage developers to be competitive in price, quality and speedy delivery of affordable housing on a large scale,’’ he said.

He said that for sustainable delivery of affordable housing, offtakers financing must be at single digit interest rate.

‘’Efforts of government and its agencies like the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Family Homes Fund and Federal Government Staff Housing Board offering 6%, 5% and 3% interest rates respectively are appreciated. It is however clear that these institutions are limited in their funding capacity to finance affordable housing given the existing level of housing deficit such that only a small percentage of Nigerians can quality and secure mortgages through these institutions.’’

While the country may be hoping for enhanced capitalization of these institutions in the future and possible special intervention fund by government, offtakers, according to Adelakun, must engage in self-help through innovative principles or Cooperative Housing.

‘’This informs the sub theme of NAHFIS EXPO 2019: “Cooperatives and Demand Driven Approach to Delivering Affordable Housing”. The second day of this Summit is dedicated for this purpose and to preach the gospel of synergy in togetherness and to encourage formation of cooperative housing association across the country which will culminate in formation of cooperative housing federation of Nigeria.

‘’The goal is to unite Offtakers and aggregate savings and equity contributions to improve their collective chances of renting or owning affordable housing at minimal cost and to actively participate and invest in the various housing value chains. Cooperative Housing should afford offtakers a better negotiating platform with other stakeholders. Housing Cooperatives in other countries like Kenya play the role of developers, financiers, guarantors, bankers, asset aggregators and managers. They are able to attract domestic and international donor and equity funds due to the volume of savings from members.
‘’Cooperative Housing will also facilitate procurement of bankable offtakers guarantees required to attract global construction companies with proprietary technologies and finance tor large scale, speedy and cost effective and efficient delivery of affordable housing to Nigeria.

‘’Offtakers guarantees will also eliminate sad experience of some offtakers who made payment to developers and were unable to either get their houses or retrieve their payments. The values, vision, principles and benefits of Cooperative Housing will be discussed in detail and action plans set in motion to promote Cooperative Housing as well as Cooperative Housing Saving Schemes in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Role of Building Consultants In Housing Goal

While corruption, poor policies, lack of proper supporting infrastructure and lack of government goodwill have had their hand in muzzling the construction industry’s potential, a significant portion of the blame must be directed towards the professional consultants operating in the industry.

We shall refer to these consultants as the good people in the context of our analogy.

The professionals operating within the construction industry are many and varied in discipline.

From the more technical roles of the architects, engineers and quantity surveyors to the supporting functions borrowed from the legal, procurement, business and finance sectors – real estate and construction provide a space wide enough for many different specialties to ply their trade.

How well, professional and soberly these players execute their roles spells the difference between a thriving industry and the local example we are facing here

The government, through the various agencies that mandate and regulate the technical professions needs to create a system through which these professionals give back to the society.

While giving back is most times thought of as being a charity activity, by creating a properly structured pro-bono technical consultancy services framework, the government can create a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved.

The legal profession has made some advanced strides in providing legal aid to criminal suspects who cannot afford an advocate, in keeping with the rights provided in the constitution.

This, though is yet to be fully realised on a mandatory scale. Borrowing from their experiences and considering that one of the main outputs of construction – housing – is a basic need, the regulatory agencies within the building construction industry can build up on this advancement and thereby guarantee the provision of technical consultancy services to the sectors of the economy who cannot afford or those who lack the procedural knowhow.

Most of the times when cases of collapsed buildings are reported in the country, the professional bodies representing these professions in the country come out to disown the individual named as the architect and engineer in the specific development terming him a quack.

The common advice has always been for developers to hire professionals duly registered by the relevant government agencies. This advice is practical in developments within upmarket neighbourhoods and maybe for public facilities.

For a developer putting up a residential profit somewhere in Huruma or Pipeline – some of the estates notorious for building disaster calamities – would feigning or honestly being ignorant of the existence of an institution that registers architects or engineers may apply.

For a country with close to 800 registered Architects almost half that figure for Quantity Surveyors, based on latest figures from the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, and very many competent registered structural, electrical and mechanical engineers, we can do better.

The country has the capacity to allocate each residential development in the country to a technical professional team of competent standing, from design to supervision, guaranteeing safe and decent houses as per the provisions of Article 42 of the Constitution.

The government can and should support this initiative by giving tax rebates to consultant firms offering these pro-bono services and make it even more attractive by declaring it a pre-condition when tendering for government projects.

Housing Development

Government can then recover this tax by imposing a reasonable charge on the developer once his facility starts earning revenue.

With the recently released census figures and judging from demographic projections presented, the urban population is rising at a rate much higher than the corresponding rate with which the housing sector is meeting the market demand.

It is time the government and delegated agencies start thinking creatively and for the good men to do something, if we are to adequately deal with the challenges the future presents.

Source: businessdailyafrica

We’re Ready to Provide Affordable House – Lawal

The Kano state Commissioner for Housing and Transport, Barrister Musa Abdullahi Lawal, has assured Kano citizens that during his tenure, they should expect the provision of standard and affordable houses.

Lawal, who made this known, shortly after resuming duty on Wednesday, noted that establishing more housing estates in the state, will alleviate the challenges of accommodation in the state, adding that the state, is a cosmopolitan one, which needs decongestion.

He disclosed that the Ministry will explore the possibility of establishing Uniform Transportation System in line, with the modern transportation system, in other developed countries.

According to the Commissioner, it will ease the free flow of traffic within the metropolis, promising that the Ministry will also provide adequate strategy, aimed at sanitizing the menace of tricycle operators in the state,

Also, he disclosed, that the State Government will enact a policy of registering, each tricycle operator for proper tracking and monitoring.

Barrister Musa Abdullahi Lawal also sought the maimum support and cooperation of employees in the Ministry, toward executing his plans, emphasizing that Kano state government under his watch will provide friendly working conditions for the staff of the Ministry.

However, he warned employees of the Ministry against absenteeism, lackadaisical attitude and flouting rules and regulations, governing the conduct of Civil Service in the state..

Source: thenationonlineng

Hundreds Of Migrants In Sweden Could Soon Lose Their Housing

Hundreds of migrants who arrived in Sweden as unaccompanied migrants risk losing their accommodation by the start of February.

They will need to leave housing provided by the Swedish Migration Agency, as municipalities will be asked to take on the responsibility for housing and maintenance support. But the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting, SKL) cannot guarantee homes for all of those affected.

The decision applies to around 750 people who arrived in Sweden under the age of 18 and without a family member or guardian. Of these, most are covered by the so-called ‘high school law’ (gymnasielagen), which allowed rejected asylum seekers to stay in Sweden until they finished high school.

The Migration Agency pointed to a ruling from the Court of Appeal in June which established that people with right of residence but who were not covered by the Settlement Act should not be provided by accommodation or financial support from public authorities.

Although its new legal position was effective from Monday, the agency said it would not be asking the affected people to leave their homes until January 31st, 2020.

Thousands of children disappear in Swedish asylum process
“We understand that this is very tough news for these people, since it means such big changes. That’s why we are waiting until January 31st to write it out, so that they will be able to finish the autumn school term but also have time to look for new accommodation,” said Veronika Lindstrand Kent, department head for national coordination at the Migration Agency.

“We hope that as many people as possible will be able to find their own accommodation, but if people can’t, there is a possibility to apply for assistance from the municipality,” said Lindstrand Kant.

Long read: The story of Sweden’s housing crisis
But SKL said it cannot guarantee homes for all the affected people due to uncertainty over whether Sweden’s Social Services Act includes those who are still waiting for a residence permit.

“Of course it is worrying that the legal framework is so complicated that some young people will end up in a gap between obtaining a residence permit and being forced to leave the Migration Agency housing,” said Fredrik Lennartsson, head of the department for care and welfare at SKL. “We are analyzing the issue and will come back to the municipalities with our answer.”

Source: thelocal

Infrastructure: Still a Long Walk In The Maze

One month after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared a state of emergency on roads, and gave a marching order to eight construction firms to help fix the roads and relieve residents of traffic nightmare, it is still the same old story. 


The question Lagosians may soon ask Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is: just how much longer does he need to fix the roads?

The question, which is being asked with all sense of responsibility, is because they are seeing no sign of respite that anything may change soon, despite the imminence of the dry season, the much-expected period where much speed is expected on ongoing projects.

Their worry was triggered by none other than the lackadaisical attitude of the contractors saddled with repairing the roads and bringing the much-needed relief to road users.

On October 13, the governor declared an emergency on the roads and saddled eight construction companies with constructing some selected roads.

The contractors were Messrs Julius Berger Construction Company Plc, Hi-tech Construction Company, Arab Contractors, Metropolitan Construction, Slabaugh Construction, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Rajaf Foundation Construction, and RCF Nigeria Limited.

Some of the critical highways and even inner roads listed among the roads for urgent remedial attention include the Ojota stretch of the Ikorodu Road, Motorways -Kudirat Abiola Way, Apogbon Highway, Babs Animashaun Road, Agric/Ishawo Road and Ijede Road in Ikorodu, as well as Lekki-Epe Expressway from Abraham Adesanya to Eleko Junction.

Also to be touched in what may be the first phase of the massive reconstruction are the roads in Ikoyi, Ikeja GRA and Victoria Island.

“We expect the rains will begin to subside and this is why we are mobilising our contractors to immediately start the major construction work on the identified highways and bring permanent relief to residents. I am giving all Lagosians the assurance that the contractors will start the construction in earnest and will deliver on the terms of agreements reached with them,” Sanwo-Olu assured.

He also directed the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials to work round the clock to control traffic in areas where the construction would take place.

Sanwo-Olu, who empathised with pain of road users, gave the contractors a marching order to start the reconstruction the following day.

Their efforts, according to the governor, are to be complemented by the rehabilitation by men of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC), which during the August break, claimed it palliated 200 roads.

Some road users have raised concern that virtually all those roads have since been washed off in the ensuing rainfalls of the last two months.

A section of road users are even querying what qualifies Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Ikeja GRA, while many more densely populated roads abound at Oshodi, Mushin, Agege, Okokomaiko, Ojokoro, Ifako-Ijaiye and even Ikeja, all in the mainland, all of which could have given more relief to road users, had they been attended.

The Nation’s checks, however, showed that one month after Sanwo-Olu’s approval, none of the contractors have mobilised their workforce to site, despite the respite from the rains.

The situation on most of the roads listed as priority by the government and for which contractors have been selected has remained same.

The Nation could not immediately confirm whether the government has mobilised all the contractors.

However, Sanwo-Olu kept assuring road users that he has their listening ears, and feels their pain. He sought Lagosians’ understanding as he sorts the state’s myriad challenges.

The governor disclosed that his administration had audacious programmes lined up to address the current challenges facing the State.

He however hinted that his strides might be hampered by “a number of irrevocable financial liabilities tied to which the State’s resources had been tied,” by his immediate predecessor.

He said: “I know I cannot give excuses to Lagosians that I met the state in financial mess. It would amount to meaningless stories. And nobody will never know the real status of finances of any state until they get there. It is until I got there that I realised how bad we are in terms of outstanding liabilities, financial commitments to local banks and Federal Government’s bonds.”

To finance the capital projects envisaged for the state, the governor disclosed that he might have to seek fresh funds. “We may have to widen the tax net and improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state, to fund some of the pending capital projects,” he said.

At a public forum recently, Sanwo-Olu also took umbrage at critics, carpeting his administration, saying having concluded planning, implementation becomes easy.

Sanwo-Olu’s critics are unrelenting. They said seven months is too long for the governor who knew he was inheriting assets and liabilities of a state to make an impression.

Sanwo-Olu, who brandishes a two-governor-in-one ticket, they claimed is too solid to be wasting time at the door of indecision.

His dithering, they claimed, depicts a mind not cued to the assignment of his office.

Adeola Samson was one of such critics, who believes Sanwo-Olu should stop wallowing in self-pity and face his assignment.

“The governor knows the roads were bad, long before he was sworn-in in May. The roads have been deplorable and road reconstruction was one of his cardinal campaign promises, so why is he delaying after the victory?”

Some users believe bad roads are a major cause of traffic nightmare on Lagos roads. They reasoned that if 50 percent of the roads are fixed, much of the choke being experienced across the state’s road network would have been addressed and traffic will move more freely, leading to a reduction in the cumulative man-hour loss in the state, which is put conservatively at over two billion man-hours per year.

But the governor reasoned that other factors outside bad roads are responsible for traffic gridlock.

According to him, population and vehicle count are exerting immeasurable pressure on the roads.

According to Sanwo-Olu, more than 10 per cent of the nation’s 180 million population, reside in the state.This is beside a vehicular movement average of 240 vehicles per kilometre, as against the national average, which ranges between 11 and 15 vehicles per kilometre.

The governor said being the nation’s economic capital, Lagos roads will always experience traffic congestion but pointed out that his administration is coming with a robust transportation system to relief the roads and lessen the pain of road users.

He said: “In the short to medium term, we have decided to come up with intermodal transport scheme, which will see us simultaneously developing capacities in waterways, rail and road mode mass transit. Our intervention is largely focused on the road, because it is the most used method of transportation.

“The BRT programme is on course and we have taken delivery of 800 buses, which we are currently trying to clear from the Nigerian Port. Once this is done, we will be able to remove a lot of yellow commercial buses off the road in line with our transportation plan. “

On the road infrastructure, he promised some speed once the rainy season is over.

Housing Deficit

Dayo Ayeyemi said with one, out of the six months of dry season gone, the governor need to breathe hard on the contractors if appreciable work is to be done on the roads by the advent of next year’s rainy season.

A Deputy Director of Public Affairs in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Mr Adesegun Ogundeji said the complaints had been high this year because the rain has a debilitating effect on the roads.

“Once it rains, the surfaces of the roads are usually washed away, leaving the roads distressed, depressed and deplorable,” he said.

He said the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and the LSPWC have been mandated and are working on the roads to ensure they are repaired and the pains of road users are attenuated.

Source: thenationonlineng

Lagos Gives Conditions To Reopen Worship Centres, Leisure Home

The Lagos State government on Tuesday gave conditions for the reopening of worship centres and social points and hospitality premises.

They must get letters of guarantees from residents’ associations of their operational communities, Environment and Water Resources Commissioners Tunji Bello said yesterday.

Reading the riot act to operators of nightclubs, bars, karaoke centres, churches and mosques in the state that were shut down by the government due to  noise pollution, the commissioner said the affected centred  will not be reopened until they secure letters of guarantee from the residents association of their host host communities.

In a statement by the Ministry’s spokesman, Mr. Adekunle Adeshina, the commissioner stated that the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has been mandated to apply the full weight of the law in the matter.

According to him, LASEPA officials will henceforth monitor the activities of such centres/homes and anyone found to have exceeded the allowed level of sound output will be closed down and the appropriate sanctions applied.

Bello added that the action became imperative because his office has been inundated with complaints and petitions from many residents and community associations about the noise levels of many of the leisure centres and religious homes.

The commissioner explained that it was also discovered that many of such leisure centres/religious homes after being reopened by the government usually go back to the same noise pollution for which they were earlier reprimanded, adding that this prompted the issue of involving the residents associations.

He advised owners of the affected premises to procure sound proof equipment to reduce the noise level, warning that the government will not allow any business concern to endanger the health and wellbeing of residents.

The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) is partnering with the management of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) to clean up food and beverage debris on waterways.

Source: thenationonlineng

95pc of Kenya’s Financial Analysts Fail CFA Examination

Only 5 percent of Kenyan financial analysts seeking accreditation from the global body were awarded charters after most who took its gruelling examinations, considered one of the sector’s hardest, failed.

This is according to the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Society of East Africa that last week awarded 38 Kenyans charters for 2019 out of more than 700 analysts who had enrolled in the programme.

The performance is an improvement from 2016 when only 20 Kenyans received charters out of more than 500 individuals who sat the multi-level exams. That same year, only six analysts in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda got the charters out of 160 who were in the programme.

A chartered financial analyst is a globally-recognised professional designation given by the CFA Institute. It certifies the competence and integrity of financial analysts.

The dismal performance, however, comes as demand for CFA charters in Kenya has grown over the years. This is because the charter is considered an asset for anyone seeking a career and senior roles in investment management.

“Of late, we have seen a rise in demand for the programme by investment managers and financial analysts from investment companies, mutual funds, brokers’ investment banks, research analysts, financial advisers and risk managers,” said Patricia Kiwanuka, CFA East Africa president.

East African’s pass rate is currently at 30 percent, up from 10 percent in 2016. This is slightly lower than the worldwide pass rate of about 40 percent.

Ms Kiwanuka attributes the high failure rate to the programme’s high cost and rigour.

“For one to receive a charter, one needs to commit a minimum investment of about 1,000 hours and more than Sh300,000,” she said.

The CFA exam has three levels. The tough exam asks questions from an array of topics including ethics, financial reporting, portfolio management and economics.

Source: businessdailyafrica

Bill Gates Unveils Toilet That Transforms Waste Into Fertilizer, Doesn’t Require Water or Sewers

For Bill Gates, toilets are serious business. The billionaire philanthropist kicked off the Reinvented Toilet Expo in China and unveiled a new toilet that does not require water or sewers, and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer, Reuters reported.

“We are all here for one reason: because more than half the world’s population doesn’t have the safe sanitation they need to lead healthy and productive lives,” Gates said in a speech on Tuesday in Beijing.

Gates tweeted a video Monday that described his and his foundation’s mission to improve sanitation for countries that do not have or cannot afford to build the sewer infrastructure to remove waste.

“You might guess what’s in this beaker—and you’d be right. Human feces. This small amount of feces could contain as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs,” the Microsoft co-founder said.

He kept the jar on the podium for nearly 10 minutes before removing it, the Associated Press reported.

Poor sanitation kills nearly 500,000 children under the age of five annually and costs an estimated $223 billion a year in the form of higher health costs and lost productivity and wages, Reuters reported, citing the information from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The untreated sewage can also negatively impact the surrounding environment.

“Some of the untreated human waste is in unlined pit latrines that contaminates groundwater around people’s homes,” Gates said in his speech. “Some is collected manually, or by trucks, and is dumped into nearby fields or bodies of water. And some is collected in sewers but never gets treated. The point is that we are far from the goal the world set in 2015 of everyone using a safely-managed toilet.”

The aim of the expo is to “launch a new category of innovative, decentralized sanitation solutions that will benefit millions of people worldwide,” Gates said.

Several of these “reinvented toilets” are currently being tested in Durban, South Africa.

“Durban is a good place to run these tests because the city is growing fast and many people there don’t have a modern sanitation, which means that, even if they have access to a toilet, the waste can get into the environment and make people sick,” Gates said in the video.

“A typical toilet needs water, but many of the new approaches don’t require any water at all, some of them don’t need electricity either, others run on solar power,” he added. “All of them remove the pathogens from the waste and, most importantly, they don’t have to be connected to the sewer system.”

The next step for the project is to pitch the concept to manufacturers, Gates told Reuters. He estimated that the market for the toilets will be more than $6 billion by 2030.

Source: ecowatch

Why Hospitals Want to Invest in Affordable Housing

Tech giants—including Microsoft, Facebook, and Google—have recently pledged billions of dollars to solve the affordable housing crisis, creating large loan pools for developers in a bid to help solve a problem exacerbated by their rapid growth.

Last week, a different coalition of corporate and community leaders made a smaller but no less significant pledge. A group of 14 of the nation’s largest hospital and health systems pledged to invest $700 million over five years on place-based investing in their communities. The investment focuses mostly on affordable housing, but also addresses access to health foods, entrepreneurship among women and minorities, and expanding childcare access.

Organized by the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN), the new initiative seeks to inspire more health care systems—already important anchor institutions in nearly every community across the country—to leverage their employment, purchasing, and investment power to improve the health of their community.

By attacking the racial disparities in communities across the country—as well as the other root problems that influence health outcomes—with a holistic, long-term approach, the HAN hopes to ultimately improve local economies and create a healthier population that requires less emergency and acute care.

“We’re trying to think about this as a strategy,” says David Zuckerman, director of the Healthcare Anchor Network. “It isn’t a one-time check to the community. This should be one of the ways health systems go back to improving health and wellbeing for the entire community.”

The 14 health care organizations—including Kaiser Permanente, Boston Medical Center, and Trinity Health—carry considerable economic heft in their cities and communities, representing the largest private sector employers in California, New York, Massachusetts, Utah, and Wisconsin. Combined, the participating organizations in the HAN employ 1.5 million people and have more than $100 billion in investment assets.

Members of the HAN will invest a certain percentage of their investment portfolios in their communities over the next five years. Roughly half of the participating members have already begun investing. In Richmond, Virginia, the Bon Scours Mercy Health system has invested in the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust, which focuses in part on transforming vacant property into more productive uses.

Zuckerman argues that investments in housing aren’t just good for the community; they’re good for a health care system’s bottom line, too. While measuring a direct return on investment can be tricky, he says the goals of the wider campaign—keeping people in stable housing, increasing access to healthy food, creating neighborhoods where it’s safe to walk—lead to healthier lives and less emergency room visits and chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

Studies have shown that social, economic, environmental, and behaviorial factors—non-genetic influences called the social determinants of health—account for up to 80 percent of the health outcomes a community experiences.

“Housing is a tremendous issue across the country, and the federal government has simply pulled back from investing in housing,” Zuckerman says.

Many hospitals and health systems are moving toward treating patients with less resources to reduce the burden of expensive chronic treatment, which can make a financial difference for individuals.

“It’s a long-run game, not a short-term solution,” he says.

He also admits that health care systems historically haven’t always been the best partners with disinvested communities, but that has changed in recent years. The launch of this network is the first time there’s been a conversation in the industry about leveraging health care as a significant engine of economic revitalization.

The model already works. Urbanists and writers such as Richard Florida and James and Deborah Fallows have long spoken about how anchor institutions—such as universities, and large corporations—can help build community and revitalize local economies. Zuckerman hopes this become an industry standard for health care.

“Can we flip from applying Band-Aids to thinking about all the resources we have and leveraging them differently?” he says.

Source: curbed


More UAE Rain Expected in the Coming Days

UAE residents can expect more rainfall in the coming days, as the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) continues its cloud seeding operations, with five having already taken place in the past 48 hours alone.

In 2019 so far, the centre has carried out 181 cloud seeding operations. It uses aircrafts to shoot salt flares into clouds that have rain droplets to enhance the chance of rainfall, which it aims to increase by 15-25 percent, the head of cloud seeding Khalid Al Obeidii told Khaleej Times.

Sunday saw heavy rainfall and storms take place across the UAE, with major tourism attractions such as The Dubai Mall experiencing flooding and temporary store closures.

Videos and images were widely distributed on social media showing people wading through stores on the mall’s ground floor, in the Fashion Avenue area. The country also experienced major traffic jams and waterlogged roads.

Some flights were also delayed at Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports but resumed early on Monday morning.

However the weather bureau has warned UAE residents to remain cautious as more heavy winds, rainfall and storms are expected.

Last year, NCM introduced a ground generator on top of mountains in the Hafeet and Fujairah areas to shoot salt flares up to the clouds to increase the chances of rain.

Source: arabianbusiness

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