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FCTA Worried About Area Council Projects’ Neglect

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has expressed concern over the total neglect of projects in the six area councils.

FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who made this known while on tour of facilities of Kuje Area Council in Abuja, expressed worry over the dilapidating state of Kuje mini stadium, describing it as one of the ‘non-existence projects’ in the council.

She, however, reiterated the commitment of present administration towards completion of all abandoned projects, stressed that the FCTA may consider the option of Public, Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to complete some of the identified projects.

The minister also used the occasion to advocate for adequate funding of the councils aimed at decongesting the city centre, noted that the tour of facilities was to identify areas of urgent needs.

According to her, “the Kuje stadium is non-existence because it has not been put to effective use in the past five years. The entrance has been overtaken by refuse dump and no sporting activities are taking place in the main stadium.

“We are going to built shops at the entrance of the stadium, and that will discourage people from dumping their waste right by the side of the stadium. We are even considering the option of PPP arrangement to achieve this. If the stadium is put to effective use, some of our youths will be meaningfully engaged.

“Basically, we are focusing on completion of abandoned projects in the councils and that is the essence of the tour. President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate is to complete all abandoned projects”.

She, enjoined residents of the council to imbibe the culture of sanitation and to be security conscious within their domains, stressing that security is a collective responsibility.

While in Kuje Women Development Center, the minister ordered for immediate use of the centre by the Social Development Secretariat, noting that some of the equipment has not been put to use.

Earlier, the Chairman of the council, Suleiman Sabo, said despite the paucity of funds, the council has in the past six months been able to empower the youths of the area through provision of entrepreneurial tools, provision of functional and effective free healthcare delivery system, among others.

The chairman is however seeking stronger collaboration with the FCT Administration to boost its revenue drive in order to augment the federal allocation.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State has vowed to complete the over N2 billion Mpape—-Shere  road .
The project was awarded to an indigenous company, CC Nigeria Ltd in 2006 and expected to have been completed within three years. But was been abandoned for lack of funds.

Dr. Aliyu  made the pledge weekend during a tour of facilities in Shere community in Bwari area Council of the FCT. She said, the ministry is very now determined to complete all abandoned project.

She however, warned all organizations, individuals and agencies who have been allocated land in the area to begin immediate development or have their plots revoked.

‘’We are using this opportunity to call on all those who have been privilege to get land allocations here to come forward and begin immediate development or have their allocations revoked, what many of them don’t know is that Abuja is now a city of attraction for businesses, many local and international bodies, individuals are coming to ask for lands in FCT.

“We’re not begging anyone to develop any plots but if you have been allocated one and fails to do the needful, we will revoke it and reallocate to those who are prepared to make development immediately, and when these lands are fully developed in Shere-galuyi, there will be rapid social economic development across board here.

“FCT cannot afford  to waste land , lots of visitors are coming into the city everyday to ask for land  for development and those who got land and fail to develop cannot continue to grad us back,” the minister added.

Source: guardianng

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

Engineers Lament Neglect, Seek Greater Role in Governance

Buoyed by infrastructural challenges in the country, engineers have called for more roles in governance to address the problem.

They reasoned that engaging more engineers in the nation’s political space, represents the surest way of solving the nation’s challenges because engineering by practice is meant to meet societal needs.

This formed the fulcrum of discussions at a public lecture and induction of new members by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Apapa branch titled: “The Nigerian Engineer and the Political Challenges”.

Vice President of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Joseph Akinteye, who led the discussions at the event, lamented the neglect of Nigerian engineers in critical infrastructure because of their non-involvement in politics.

He said that 70 per cent of the nation’s budget consists of engineering issues whether in the road, water, housing, and education, hence the need for engineers and politicians to work hand in hand to move the nation forward.

Specifically, he mentioned the second Niger bridge project where the indigenous engineers were sidelined even after being asked in the past to submit a design to the effect.

He stressed that engineering cannot develop if they are not allowed to practice, which is also compounding the unemployment crisis in the country.

He therefore called for synergy between politicians and engineers as well as other critical professionals to move the country forward.

According to him, “No nation develops without engineering and technology. The reason we are having problems in this country is that we priorities politics. All of us cannot join politics.

“In developed nations, whenever they are forming their cabinet, they do not

Only get politicians, they have technocrats, these people are being picked from professional bodies, either presidents or past presidents of these professional bodies to form their cabinets”.

Regretting the neglect of professional bodies in Nigeria, Akinteye said in the past, they were asked to come together as a consortium to do the second Niger Bridge.

He called on the authority to bring more professional bodies into their government so that good ideas could be sold to the government during the federal executive council meeting. “When engineers are not there, politicians will still bring foreigners for pecuniary gains and at the detriment of the country.

Also the President, Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria, Dr. Felicia Agubata stressed the need for more engineers in the political space.

She said engineers by practice and training provide solutions to problems; hence their involvement in politics will be the icing on the cake in offices where they occupied.

Dr. Agubata noted that in the past, engineers were being relegated in contracts but the signing Executive Order 5 by the president last year changed the narrative as Nigerian engineers are delivering on their mandates

According to her, four state governors in Ebonyi, Borno, Nassarawa and Oyo, who are engineers, are changing the political landscapes in their states.

There are engineers, who are deputy governors in Ogun, Lagos as well as commissioners.

Chairman of the branch, Sunny Ejeje also noted that most engineers are shying away from politics, which has led to their neglect in the scheme of things.

He said the topic was timely to change the narrative so that the government will give the engineers the privilege of attaining political height to address societal challenges.

According to him, engineers need to take their place in elective positions and not complain about how things are run.

Housing Development

He noted some inroads made by engineers with the recent appointment of an engineer as a special adviser to Osun State governor on water resources and called for more.

In his remarks, President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Adekunle Mokuolu, who was, represented by the former president of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers Chief Akintunde Zedomi noted that the changing phase of engineering practice in Nigeria.

According to him, the interface between engineers and government in the past has not been cordial

He urged the new inductees to work in the ethics of the profession, stressing that the argument on the number of years it takes to become an engineer is not necessary but how to make the planet earth much better.

The event witnessed the award of excellence to deserving engineers and the induction of new members.

Source: Guardianng

Apple Commits $2.5 Billion to Ease California Housing Crunch

The plan includes $1 billion for an affordable housing investment fund and another $1 billion to help first-time buyers find mortgages.

 

Apple is pledging $2.5 billion to confront California’s housing crisis, in a bid to help the state ease a situation that’s been blamed for marginalizing people in service and support jobs and creating a spike in homelessness.

“The sky-high cost of housing — both for homeowners and renters — is the defining quality-of-life concern for millions of families across this state, one that can only be fixed by building more housing,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement from Apple. “This partnership with Apple will allow the state of California to do just that.”

The announcement comes as California grapples with how to keep pace with growing demand — by one estimate, as NPR recently noted, the state must build more than 3 million homes by 2025.

Apple’s plan includes $1 billion to create a mortgage assistance fund for first-time homebuyers, and another $1 billion that will be an open line of credit to support building “very low- to moderate-income housing,” the company said.

People who want to own or rent a home in California increasingly face tight supply in high-demand areas. While the crisis has a wide reach, the struggle to find new housing at an affordable price is even more daunting for the millions of people who haven’t benefited from the tech boom that has made some into billionaires.

The result is that in a state famous for nurturing innovative ideas in garages, a number of people have been living in their vehicles because of the high cost of rent — including some lower-paid tech workers. Communities from Los Angeles to the Bay Area have been criticized for banning or restricting people’s ability to live in automobiles and RVs.

“Apple is committed to being a good neighbor and helping to write the next chapter of the region that has been a great home of innovation and creativity for generations,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

Some 45% of California residents rent their homes, according to the latest figures from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. It adds that among renters, the average hourly wage is $22.79 — but to afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom home, a renter must earn $34.69 an hour.

Apple’s housing offer follows large commitments from other tech giants. Both Facebook and Google have pledged $1 billion in recent months. In January, Microsoft made a $500 million investment to ease similar pressures near its headquarters in the Seattle area.

Jackson says Apple crafted its approach to match the broad reach of the housing crisis, from helping first-time homebuyers to backing philanthropies that support people who are at the greatest risk of experiencing homelessness.

California’s poverty rate has fallen in each of the past five years, according to the latest American Community Survey report from the U.S. Census Bureau. But the state’s income inequality rate is also one of the worst in the U.S., that same report found. And of all the states that had higher than average income inequality rates in 2018, California was the only one where the income gap grew even wider last year.

Housing Deficit

“Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “When these things fall out of reach for too many, we know the course we are on is unsustainable, and Apple is committed to being part of the solution.”

Here’s the company’s breakdown of the $2.5 billion in aid:

  • $1 billion affordable housing investment fund
  • $1 billion first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund
  • $300 million worth of land Apple owns in San Jose, which will be available for affordable housing
  • $150 million Bay Area housing fund, consisting of long-term forgivable loans and grants
  • $50 million to support vulnerable people: Apple is donating $50 million to support Destination: Home’s efforts to address homelessness in Silicon Valley, and will look for similar philanthropies in the north and south of the state

Source: npr

Construction Of Largest Student Housing Project In South Africa Set for Completion In October 2020

The construction of the largest student housing project in South Africa at the University of Fort Hare (UFH), in the Eastern Cape is set for completion in 2020. The mega project will be one of the largest student housing projects ever undertaken by a South African public university.

The Department of Higher Education and Training, the European Union and the Development Bank of Southern Africa are funding the project which is currently in Phase 2 and is valued at US $27m. Phase 1 of the 2,000-bed student housing project was completed in 2014 and added 610 beds to the university while Phase 2 will bring the total beds available to 2,047.

Easing accommodation congestion at UFH

Once completed the new residences will help ease congestion at the university and create a student community that is conducive to academic success. The housing project will also add a student center and a dedicated postgraduate accommodation block.

“Our biggest challenge at UFH is lack of accommodation considering most of our students come from rural areas and therefore they have no accommodation when they arrive here. Our current residences can barely accommodate 50% of our student population on our Alice campus,” says UFH vice-chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu.

“The main aim of this project is to house over 65% of students on campus,” added Professor Buhlungu who noted that they are aiming at accommodating all students in the coming years as the population grows.

The government of South Africa this year acknowledged that an additional 300,000 beds are needed to accommodate the nation’s students. On the other side, STAG states that students who reside on campus have a 25% greater chance of passing than those who do not reside on campus. STAG is also expanding student accommodation facilities in other countries including developing 3000, beds in Lesotho, 34,000 beds in Kenya, 4,700 beds in Malawi and 5,400 in Zambia.

Source: constructionreviewonline

Berlin

Berlin Agrees Five-Year Rents Freeze To Tackle Housing Prices Boom

The local government in Berlin has agreed to freeze rents in the German capital for five years as the city is battling with skyrocketing housing prices.

The Berlin Senate’s majority, which is composed by the Social Democrats, Greens and the Left party, approved the decision last week after months of discussions.

The plans will be sent to parliament this month, where they are expected to be approved and to take effect in January 2020. They also include measures to cap subletting contracts.

“We’re entering new territory,” said Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller. “Others talk about it, but we’re actually doing it.”

The clamp down on rent rise, one of the most extreme decisions taken by a Western capital in recent times, is being followed with close interest by other world cities.

The plan was initially proposed by the Left party. Katrin Lompscher, the party’s head of urban development and housing, said the intention was to “ease the burden” on tenants after a property boom which saw rents doubling over the last 10 years.

German house-builders’ and property companies’ shares were hit hard on October 21st. Deutsche Wohnen, Berlin’s largest private landowner, saw its shares fall by 4.6%. Shares of Vonovia SE, the largest property company in the country, fell as much as 1.6%.

A separate grass-root initiative attempting to force Berlin’s local government to expropriate over 200,000 properties from large landlords is ongoing.

In August, Forbes.com revealed that Berlin is the city with the highest growth for prices of luxury real estate in the world.

For the second year in a row, the German capital had recorded the strongest price growth rate globally, with a 12% increase year-on-year – according to data from Knight Frank.

Source: forbes

Family Homes Funds to deliver 40,000 homes by 2020

The Managing Director of the Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole, says the target of the FHF by this time next year is to complete or commence the construction of about 40,000 affordable homes across the country. Adewole said this yesterday during a courtesy call on the FHF in Abuja by a team from Media Trust Limited, publishers of the Daily Trust and other titles.

The Family Homes Funds, dubbed sub-Sahara Africa’s largest housing fund, is a social housing initiative promoted by the Federal Government as part of its Social Intervention Programmes.

Adewole said the fund, in just a year of existence, had about 4,000 homes currently at various stages of completion across five states of the federation.

According to him, the FHF is probably the largest building programme in Nigeria in a very long time. He said: “In Ogun state, we are doing 1,070 homes. In Nasarawa, we have completed about 580 and in Kaduna we are about 60 per cent completion of about 620 homes. In Kano, we are building about 767 homes. In Delta state, we have about 620 homes.” He said FHF had reached agreements with some state governments to finance a number of affordable homes. “We have an agreement with Borno State to finance about 4900 homes. Of that, 3200 is replacement homes for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 1,700 for civil servants. We have also signed with Yobe state for 3,600 homes, Adamawa 2,000 and for Bauchi 2500 homes,” he added

He said discussions were currently ongoing with states like Ebonyi, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Anambra and a number of others. “The objective is that by this time next year, we should have completed or have gone into construction for about 40,000 homes,” he said. He said the FHF would soon roll out a rental housing scheme where Nigerians could move to their houses with just a month rent and a month deposit and with an option to buy the house.

Source: Daily Trust

CHIP Moves Forward With Rebuilding Affordable Housing

A North State non-profit organization is getting ready to add affordable housing across Butte County.

The Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) received a grant to help rebuild the Paradise Community Village after being destroyed in the Camp Fire.

“And it took 10 years to build.. and one day to burn,” Zappettini said.

Director of Rental Housing for CHIP Kris Zappettini said the Paradise Community Village project was special.

“The structure is obviously less important than what it meant for the people living there,” she said.

Zappettini said CHIP still keeps in touch with them.

“Many continue to call back saying when are you going to rebuild because when we come back to paradise thats where we want to live,” Zappettini said.

The North Valley Community Foundation and the California Community Foundation came through with big news – a grant for $560,000.

Zappettini said the money will be put towards hiring more staff to ramp up projects.

“It helps us cut time so that we can get to what people really need which is housing production so that they have a place to live,” she said.

“When we talk about the village and how valuable it was to this community where are those people – what happened to them,” Nordgren said.

Gwen Nordgren volunteers and lives at the Paradise Lutheran Church.

She’s in a one-bedroom studio on the church’s campus with her dog after losing everything in the Camp Fire.

“Everybody was homeless we were all just couch surfing and traveling around and living at the Rolling Hills Casino’s RV lot and that kind of thing,” Nordgren said.

Nordgren said the church has a project in place to help with affordable housing in their community too.

“This lot and all of the land behind you is we got two and 2/3 acres and we’re going to be building four sections of housing with four units each,” she said.

Nordgren said they’re trying to fill the need for affordable housing in the community – that right now is so desperate.

“I think it’s amazing that everyone’s behind this because it’s so necessary,” Nordgren said.

“I hope its a start for even more development I hope its the ability to say what was destroyed can be rebuilt and maybe built even better,” Zappettini said.

CHIP hopes to start construction for rebuilding the Paradise Community Village next year.

CHIP is starting pre-development work on up to 40 homes in Paradise and up to 122 homes in Thermalito.

SOURCE: ACTIONNEWSNOW

FG To Build N15bn Houses in Bauchi

The Federal Government is to construct 2,500 housing units in Bauchi State worth N15bn.

The Federal Ministry of Finance will  provide the fund for the project.

The Minister of State, Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu,  said last month the Federal Government would build affordable houses for low and middle-income earners across the country.

He said the FG’s  target was to cut the 20 million housing deficit in the country by 2033.

Governor Bala Mohammed said after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Family Homes Fund Limited, the company handling the project, he was happy with the development.

He said his administration decided to support  the project  to address accommodation problem  in the state.

Mohammed said the project would be executed across the six emirate councils.

The Managing Director of Family Homes Fund, Mr Femi Adewole, said  the project was  aimed at providing affordable houses across the country.

Source: punchng

Bernie Sanders Teases $2.5 Trillion Housing Plan

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced highlights of his national housing plan during a speech Saturday, emphasizing renter protections and investments in affordable housing.

The plan will cost approximately $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years, the Vermont independent said during a speech in Las Vegas, acknowledging that it is “expensive.”
Sanders said he will call for a national rent control standard, “capping annual rent increases throughout the country at no more than one and a half times the rate of inflation or three percent, whichever is higher,” he said.
Sanders did not offer specifics on how he would pay for the plan aside from raising taxes on “the top one-tenth of one percent” of American households. He stressed that under his housing proposal, “99.9 percent of Americans will not see their taxes go up by one nickel.”
He noted that his late mother’s dream — that their family would move out of their rent-controlled Brooklyn apartment and into their own home — never happened.
“But during her life, at least our family was always able to afford a roof over our heads, because we were living in a rent-controlled building, which meant that for our family and all the other families in our building, rents could not be arbitrarily raised,” he said.
Sanders also announced that he will expand the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund and create an additional two million units of mixed-income housing, which he said would “create many, many good-paying union jobs.”
He would fully fund the Section 8 rental assistance program and establish anti-discrimination protections for program recipients against landlords, he said.
Sanders called to invest more than $32 billion over the next five years to address homelessness, $70 billion to repair and grow public housing, and $50 billion in state and local grants to create community land trusts.
He also called for empowering localities “to go even further to protect tenants from the skyrocketing price of housing” and to “require real estate developers to include affordable housing in the construction of new developments.”
Source: CNN
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