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Senate Committee Chairman on Housing to Open REDAN Training Program on Thursday

As part of continuous professional development program, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), is organizing a training on emerging trends in real estate development in Nigeria.

The training which is a basic and relative training for all stakeholders in housing and real estate will include capacity building, unveiling emerging laws, policies and practice issues in the real estate sector, advocacy programs, and will be declared open by the Senate Committee Chairman on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu in Abuja on Thursday.

According to an official statement from the association, the trainings are scheduled to hold in Abuja at Top Rank hotel Utako on the 14th of November, in Lagos at The Haven AVMC Compound Ikeja on November 20, and Owerri at Graceland Event Arena, Owerri on November 22, 2019 from 9am-5pm.

The program is inspired by the need to have basic and relative training for all stakeholders and practitioners in the housing and real estate value chain; develop capacity to reduce waste, ensure time utilisation and lead to enhanced mass delivery of houses.

Ensuring that developers are aware and capable of handling the multidimensional and multi-disciplinary challenges involved in real estate industry; unveiling to real estate developers emerging laws, policies and practice issues in the real estate sector, in the realm of finance, land administration, technology, money laundering.

To ensure coherent and coordinated advocacy programs with potential for high positive impact on affordable housing delivery with all levels of stakeholders institutions; need for optimal utilisation of resources to ensure cost effective construction; effective and seamless communication of opportunities between stakeholders.

The registration fee is 50, 000 naira covering for 2 participants per organisation, and payable to REDAN AGM ACCOUNT, Zenith Bank – 1012691172.

Participant will be provided with all training materials.

For enquiries please call, 08034562550 or 08037300893 or visit www.redanonline.org.ng.

60 Homeless Veterans Will Get Affordable Housing In New Complex

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — Construction begins this week on a 60-unit complex that will provide permanent supportive housing for veterans experiencing homelessness. The Veterans Renaissance Apartments at Fitzsimons will be located at East 17th Avenue and Peoria Street in Aurora, on the Anschutz Campus.

“We are honored to be able to provide 60 additional units of supportive affordable housing for our Veterans in Colorado,” said John Parvensky, President/CEO of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. “For those who have served our country, it is shameful that this country doesn’t always provide them stable housing options when they return.

The four-story building will feature 56 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units, all with full kitchens and bathrooms.

“The high ceilings and large windows will create a sense of openness and light for the residents,” officials stated. “On-site amenities will include property and case management, laundry facilities, TV room, computer lab, community kitchen, medical exam room, and community space designed with a focus on community and natural light. Outdoor amenities include onsite parking, enclosed bike parking, an outdoor gathering space with grills, a dog run, a nature path, and an outdoor exercise area.”

The project is set for completion by December 2020.

Source: denver

Why Housing Professionals Must Unite to Develop Nigeria Housing Industry

To see the kind of progress needed in reducing Nigeria’s housing deficit of at least 17 million, housing sector professionals must imbibe the spirit of unity and be on the same page in terms of policies, ideas, innovative projects and sustainability drives.

Stakeholders have continuously bemoaned the increasingly low level of collaboration among each other in the Nigerian housing sector.

The current approach to professional practice in the housing development, which is characterised by each professional working largely within the narrow confines of their profession has negative consequences on the development of the real estate industry in Nigeria. And some of the consequences include substandard development, increased cost of developments, lack of financial intelligence, and lack of data collation, lack of finance pool or funding, difficulty in doing business, more self-borne risks, limited learning and many more.

The lack of adequate cross sector collaboration among and between stakeholders remain a major threat to the realisation of affordable housing goals. The kind of projects and initiatives essential to scale up housing supply in Nigeria requires a lot of collaboration and synergy among stakeholders.

With over 17 million housing deficit, and the need to build at least 1 million homes annually, there is need for active collaboration networks to achieve this goal.

Like some stakeholders attest to, many developers and financers are working in silos, and this shouldn’t be so.

Even alternative methods of financing housing development like cooperatives are being dealt a huge blow because of lack of collaboration.

Cooperatives allow for resources to be pulled together from various members who have come into the unit for the purposes of realising their objective, which may be homeownership.

Attempts have been made over the years to raise money through conventional means, but no suitable one could be found.

Through the cooperative option, members are able to increase wealth and create long-term lending options through their funds at very low interest rate.

Despite efforts by investors in the private sector, the government should also increase investment in housing, especially in providing primary infrastructure.

Against the background that primary infrastructure forms about 30 per cent of construction cost in housing estates, the road to housing availability and affordability cannot be achieved without the support of the government and collaboration of stakeholders.

The current economic situation, the impact of technology and global professional trend makes it very important for stakeholders to imbibe the spirit of collaboration.

There is an urgent need for everyone in the built-environment sector to come together from the past, see and embrace the future. In order to hone and sharpen skills in various areas of the sector, stakeholders must work together as a unit of collaborators, exchanging ideas and comparing notes.

The output of a dedicated team effort will always be better than the work of any one professional no matter how gifted the person is. If stakeholders do not catch and align with themselves and with professional trends, they can be left behind. There is a global competition going on, and Nigeria’s built sector must play along.

These facts were excessively mentioned at the 13th Abuja International Show by many speakers, and one of the key resolutions from the show was the need for wider sector collaboration to happen in order to collectively mitigate risks and increase financing options for Nigeria and its built sector which has potentials to be more that what it currently is.

Interested stakeholders believe that ongoing collaborations including the ones involving the NMRC, Family Homes Funds, MBAN, CBN, Ministry of Works and Housing and others need not only be sustained but increased to take in more.

 

Why Nigeria is Our Key Market for Affordable Housing—Shelter Afrique

…partnership pact with FHF to deliver homes for low-income earners

For its large-size population, high housing deficit profile and low homeownership level estimated at 200 million, 17 million units and 25 percent respectively, Nigeria’s housing market is,clearly, a low hanging fruit for savvy and strategic investors.

This explains the investment interests shown by both continental and international institutions like Shelter Afrique which sees Nigeria as a key market for them, especially in affordable housing delivery.

Shelter Afrique is a partnership of 44 African governments plus the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Reinsurance Company whose aim is to provide funding solutions for new affordable housing projects.

To fully leverage opportunities in the Nigerian market, the continental body recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigeria’s Family Home Funds (FHF)—a social housing initiative promoted by the federal government as part of its social intervention programmes.

The funds, which focuses on affordable homes for low-income earning Nigerians, has an initial shareholding by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority,.

It hopes that, by 2023,it shall have invested up to N1.3trn (US$3bn) in the development of 500,000 homes for low-income earners and, in the process, create up to 1.5 million jobs and, through that too, enable homeownership.

At the agreement signing event which was prformed in Abuja by the chief executives of Shelter Afrique and FHF, Andrew Chimphondah and Femi Adewole respectively, the continental body offered insights into its affordable housing delivering strategy.

It pointed out that Nigeria is its biggest market. “We are very grateful to get into a partnership with Family Homes Funds and we are delighted to sign the MOU. One of the things we realised when we re-strategized over the last few years is that beyond financing affordable housing, one of our strengths was leveraging our partnerships and networks,” said Chimpondah.

He explained that they were happy to be signing the agreement, not only because it fits into their strategic direction, but also because Nigeria is a key market and Family Homes Funds has a better understanding of the local market.

“The idea is to co-fund specific deals, share market knowledge and operate in line with best practices. In the end, our core vision is to develop decent and affordable homes for all Nigerians and if we work together to solve the affordability challenge on the demand and supply side, we will be able to achieve a lot,” he hoped.

Earlier, Adewole had described the MoU signing as “a small but momentous occasion,” explaining that Shelter Afrique has been a housing financing organisation for more than 35 years with significant experience across very many countries while FHF is barely a couple of years old.

“This partnership and relationship birthed out of this MOU provide the beginning of what I hope and expect; we will work assiduously for it to be a very successful relationship and we will ensure that we create homes for Nigerians who need them most,” he assured.

The signing of the MOU, according to him, is the first in what would be a weekly series of meetings held by a committee with members drawn from both organisations.

The meetings are expected to result in specific co-funded affordable housing projects which have been identified as low hanging fruit projects that are affordable and below N9million per home. Both firms have committed to co-financing, at least, one project before the end of 2019.

Source: businessdayng

Snapdocs Secures $25M To Make Real Estate Closings Less Tedious

Snapdocs, an AI-powered platform aimed at streamlining the digital mortgage closing process, announced this morning it has closed on a $25 million Series B.

F-Prime Capital led the round, which included participation from previous investors Sequoia Capital (the firm led Snapdocs’ $15 million Series A in 2017) and Founders Fund. The financing brings Snapdocs’ total raised to just over $43 million since it was founded in 2012. The San Francisco-based company went through Y Combinator’s accelerator program in the 2014 winter batch.

Snapdocs claims its platform currently powers over 10 percent of all U.S. residential mortgage transactions, which amounts to about $150 billion in real estate transactions annually. It helps process about 750,000 real estate closings a year and has developed a network of over 50,000 industry service providers such as lenders, title companies and notaries.

Aaron King, the company’s founder and CEO, said Snapdoc is is not out to try and disrupt the industry. It’s instead trying to help its players “work better together.” It also aims to reduce the time borrowers spend at the closing table from over an hour to just 15 minutes by doing things such as giving them the ability to review lengthy documents digitally beforehand, for example, according to King.

“You have 12 different industries trying to interact to make a real estate transaction happen. We’re focused on helping those parties coordinate better,” he said. “Our goal has been to become the connective tissue to help those different industries improve their workflow in a more seamless, automated way by tackling the complex underlying machinery of the entire process.”

King told me that Snapdocs has intentionally opted not to raise too much funding because it’s “not the type of company trying to burn tons of capital.”

“My last company was bootstrapped, so we have that in our DNA,” he told me. “In almost every fundraising round, we’ve had opportunities to raise at higher valuations but we believe if you’re going to build a really enduring company, it’s more important to pick the right partners.”

The company will use the new capital to help “fuel growth” and further invest in its technology. It’s also planning to grow its recently-opened Denver office.

As part of the funding round, David Jegen, managing partner of F-Prime Capital’s tech fund, will join Snapdocs’ board.

“Residential mortgage is a $2 trillion industry and one of the largest sectors yet to be digitized,” said F-Prime Capital’s Jegan in a written statement. “The entire closing process is cumbersome and in need of a better workflow for collaboration, coordination and transparency. Snapdocs has built the leading vertical SaaS solution to this problem and is well-positioned to become the industry’s platform for digital mortgage closings.”

Source: Crunchbase news

It’s Not Just About Numbers – We Need Affordable, Good-Quality Homes

Councils are doing their bit to tackle the housing crisis. But one of the challenges in making sure homes are good quality and affordable is the extension of permitted development rights, says Darren Rodwell

As the new vice-chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board I look forward to working with the government to tackle the national housing crisis and take forward the priorities and concerns local authorities are raising.

These include Right to Buy and planning reform to scrapping permitted development rights and tackling homelessness.

Local authorities have been quietly getting on with the job of tackling our housing shortage, but there is much more to do.

Over the past few years councils have been accelerating their housebuilding programmes to deliver more safe, affordable, high-quality homes with the right infrastructures, and by lifting the borrowing cap last year the government has both demonstrated its willingness to tackle the crisis and recognised the important role councils play in addressing national housing need.

More needs to be done, but enabling councils to resume their historic role as major house builders of affordable homes must be at the top of housing secretary Robert Jenrick’s agenda.

The last time the country built more than 250,000 homes in a year, in the 1970s, councils built around 40% of them.

However, it isn’t just about numbers – we need affordable, good-quality homes.

One of the greatest challenges facing councils is the extension of permitted development rights. These rights give developers greater flexibility to convert barns, old office blocks and storage facilities into new homes.

The loss of office space leaves our businesses and start-ups without the premises they need to get off the ground and grow, and local residents lose out on access to local jobs – both of which underpin the success of our communities.

Equally, the rules allow developers to bypass the local planning system, which takes away the ability of our communities and local leaders to shape the area in which they live.

And there is, critically, no requirement for developers to build affordable homes or support infrastructure such as roads, schools and health services as part of a development.

Latest figures show that since 2015, a total of 42,130 flats have been developed after being converted from redundant office space – all without local scrutiny or planning permission.

But what does this mean for our communities and local authorities?

While this amounts to approximately 7% of new homes nationally, in some parts of the country it represents a much higher proportion of all new housing.

Office-to-residential conversions under permitted development rules accounted for 40% of new homes in Islington, Welwyn Hatfield, Mole Valley, Croydon and Derby in 2017/18.

The implications are clear. Building homes in this way can increase supply, but at the expense of affordable, good-quality new homes.

The government needs to work with local areas to tackle the housing crisis. It is vital that local leaders, who are answerable to their communities and have a vested interest in ensuring their communities thrive, are given a greater voice in the planning process.

Extending permitted development rules and building homes outside of the planning system is not the answer.

“Building homes in this way can increase supply, but at the expense of affordable, good quality new homes”

Councils have lost almost 60p out of every £1 they had from government between 2010 and 2020 to spend on services, but despite cuts to planning departments the planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding, with councils approving nine in 10 planning applications.

Alongside scrapping existing rules, the government needs to drop proposed plans to extend the rules to allow upwards extensions and the demolition of existing commercial buildings, as well as give councils the funding and powers to build more affordable homes.

 

The LGA strongly advocates a local plan-led system that takes into account the needs and expectations of existing and new communities. This is the best way to secure community buy-in, good-quality housing growth and the infrastructure needed to support new development.

There are opportunities to further streamline the local plan process and make it quicker and easier to get local plans in place, alongside providing greater certainty to councils, developers and communities.

Councils are well-positioned to deliver more homes and kick-start a housing revolution. With the right powers – from Right to Buy reform, such as giving councils the ability to retain 100% of their receipts and set discounts locally, as well as adequate resourcing for the planning system – councils can do just that.

A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding is the only way to boost housing supply, help families struggling to meet housing costs, provide homes to rent, reduce homelessness and tackle the housing waiting lists many councils have.

Source: insidehousing

Kenya’s First Affordable Housing Project Units to be Completed by End of 2019

The first phase of Kenya’s affordable housing project units, consisting of 228 houses, is to be completed by the end of December, a Kenyan official said on Tuesday.

Charles Hinga, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development of Kenya told Xinhua in Nairobi that China State Construction Engineering began construction works of the units in Nairobi in April.

“We are excited about the Chinese company because it has completed the works in good time,” Hinga said on the sidelines of a regional urbanization conference. The two-day event brought together policymakers, academics and researchers to review ways at how to support more inclusive urbanization in East Africa’s cities.

The project which is located in Ngara residential estate is the first development under the country’s affordable housing program.

Hinga said that in total the project will consist of 1,370 units which are intended for low-income households. He said that the second phase consisting of 260 units will be finished in mid-2020 and the final phases by end of next year. In total, the Ministry hopes to roll out 500,000 affordable houses by the end of 2022.

Source: africa

2019 Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook Launched With Regional Argument For Investment in Affordable Housing

Investor interest in affordable housing for lower-income households has grown considerably in Africa over the past 10 years.

 

However, the lack of reliable, available information continues to stunt market growth and often drives investment away.

A number of crucial gaps are identified in the latest edition of the Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook, launched by the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) in Cape Town today. According to Kecia Rust, CAHF executive director and founder: “In 2019, investors are desperate for information about the affordable housing market, but their enthusiasm will dissipate if specific opportunities cannot be identified and quantified in sufficiently reliable ways. Current investment in affordable housing in Africa, while growing, is still grossly insufficient.”

Among the data gaps are lack of information about the total size of outstanding mortgages, and information on lending, including construction and microfinance loans. The status of the deeds registries in many countries is also a problem, making it impossible to determine how many people have title deeds for their homes.

Other essential data difficult to find include the number of approved building permit applications, or even the number of properties where rates are being paid in the main city.

“A surprising number of countries do not appear to track housing completions, and do not have a data point that clarifies how many houses there are in a country – this is also true for a segment of the South African market, where the total number of subsidised houses built by the government since 1994 cannot be determined with certainty,” the Yearbook notes.

Another problem is that data is invariably aggregated to the national level. This means the ability to understand local nuance is lost.

The Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook is the flagship publication of CAHF and remains the only publication of its kind on the continent. No other source provides this type of updated information on residential property with a focus on the affordable market.

This year’s publication is the 10th anniversary edition. It is aimed at housing finance practitioners, investors, developers, researchers and government officials, and provides an up-to-date review of developments in housing finance and delivery in Africa, reflecting the change and growth in the market of each country over the past year. The publication provides concise overviews of the housing markets in all 55 countries of Africa, as well as five regional profiles, that together provide data and analytics for investors looking to invest in affordable housing across the continent.

Source: eprop

African Housing Financer Roots for Affordable Houses in Kenya

Pan African housing finance institution Shelter Afrique on Monday urged Kenya’s real estate sector to focus on constructing affordable houses in order to address the current property glut.

Andrew Chimphondah, CEO of Shelter Afrique said in a statement released in Nairobi that properties in Kenya are priced out of reach of many buyers hence the slow uptake.

“Most developers tend to add higher margins to the units they develop, which in the long run make such units rather expensive. This partly explains why there is a glut in the property market despite the reported housing shortage in Kenya,” Chimphondah said.

He said that Kenya has witnessed a housing glut build-up for the past three years due to declining demand and high property prices.

“My advice to local developers is that they would rather chase less profit and more volume because if they chase the profit and not the volume, they end up not having take-ups. They can achieve this by venturing into the affordable housing space,” Chimphondah said.

According to the pan African lender, the high cost of land, high financing cost, poor infrastructure and lack of utilities is pushing property prices up as property developers pass the costs onto the end-buyers.

“Land is very expensive in Kenya, sometimes constituting up to 40 percent of the cost of the house — probably the highest in Africa. The good news is that under affordable housing, there are new technologies and new building materials that can help reduce construction costs significantly,” Chimphondah added.

Shelter Afrique is a partnership of 44 African governments, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Reinsurance Company, which was established in 1982.

Source: xinhuanet

How Stronger NHF Scheme Can Bolster FMBN’s Affordable Housing Delivery Programme

In Nigeria, though owning a decent home is necessary, it is a very expensive venture to own one because it costs an average of N5 – N8 million to own a 2-bedroom apartment while a 3-bedroom bungalow may require upwards of N10  million to build.

For majority of Nigerian workers, raising such finance is tough. At least, not from salaries as the case of federal civil servants shows. The average salary for a level 4 staff of a federal ministry is slightly above N20, 000 less tax deductions while that of someone who is on level 14 is just around N100,000 monthly.

It was because of this poor wage structure of civil servants, the need to help Nigerian workers own their homes as well as the strategic importance of housing to overall national development that the the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme was established  in 1992.

As laudable and good intentioned as the scheme is, it is yet to live up to home seekers expectations, hence the call for strengthening it . More than ever before, a stronger NHF is needed because of its potential to drive and bolster FMBN’s on-going Affordable Housing Delivery Programme.

Mortgage sector analysts note, however, that 27 years after its establishment, NHF scheme has rec orded some strides, especially with making decent and affordable homeownership possible for tens of thousands of Nigerian workers in most  states  of the country.

Terungwa Isaac,  an Abuja-based housing policy analyst, says recent statistics from the FMBN, which manages the scheme,  show interesting milestones, including the provision of housing loans to 48,454 beneficiaries totaling over N228 billion, financing construction of 27,721 housing units at cost of over N102.6 billion.

“It is noteworthy that the scheme could have achieved a lot more if it was financially empowered,” Isaac said.

As a scheme that was designed to pool long-term funds for tackling the housing affordability challenge, the framers of the NHF law understood the importance of ensuring sustainable flow of funds and defined clear sources of finance to drive its operations on scale.

This included 2.5 percent monthly contributions from salaries of workers, investment of 10 percent of loans and advances portfolio of commercial and merchant banks, commitment of 40 percent and 20 percent of life and non-life funds of insurance companies.

Expectation is that these contributions  in addition to the federal government’s periodic injections of funds through direct interventions will strengthen the scheme for its statutory function.

Isaac lamented, however,  that only the 2.5 percent contribution from workers’monthly salaries has been the mainstay of the scheme, pointing out that commercial and merchant banks as well as insurance companies have failed to comply with the provisions of the law. Injection of funds from the federal government has also been insignificant.

This widespread non-compliance has denied the scheme, and the FMBN of liquidity to scale its affordable housing delivery programs.

“Investments from the financial institutions would have added over N500 billion to the scheme and empowered the FMBN to leverage trillions in long-term finance from the private sector, international development finance institutions and create far more mortgage loans for Nigerian workers,” Isaac said.

Despite these setbacks, the NHF has had profound impact on the Nigerian housing market. Long before the creation of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), a secondary mortgage market, the NHF had been the leading provider of long-term, low-cost affordable housing finance for the country’s mortgage banks and developers.

The FMBN, has over the decades, deployed the funds from the NHF to boost liquidity in the mortgage industry and finance the construction of affordable housing stock. Mortgage loans that it lends through primary mortgage banks (PMBs) attract best market interest rates as low as 6 percent with tenors of up to 30 years.

For these reasons and more, Isaac says, it is important for stakeholders to rally round and support efforts to revise the NHF bill that is under consideration at the National Assembly. This is because, without cheap funds, it will be impossible to give housing loans at single digits for long period of time.

Source: businessdayng

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