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.