The Managing Director of Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole has said that a home ownership scheme developed by the Fund called Help to Own is a great opportunity for many Nigerians, especially those in the low income bracket to own their homes at very affordable rate.
While speaking to Africa Housing News on Thursday in Abuja, Adewole said the objective of Help to Own is basically to contribute to improving the availability of home financing for people on low income.
‘’Help to own scheme of the family homes funds is what we call our fund 2. Currently one of the challenges for affordable housing in Nigeria is the fact that the long term financing that is needed for home financing is very few and far between.
‘’The objective of the Help to Own scheme is to provide for people on low income and we define that in our own terms as Nigerians earning less than N100, 000 per month. The fund provides them with a concessionary loan for up to 40% of the cost of the house and on that 40% financial assistance, they have a moratorium for 5 years on interest and principal. That is to say they don’t pay anything on that loan for the first 5 years.
‘’That makes the very early stages of home ownership a lot easier for them. It means that technically the only have to raise financing for 50% of the homes. We think that it will bring a huge number of people into home ownership market, but it is at its early stages and we will keep improving this product. We think that it has significant potential for ensuring that many more Nigerians can afford to live in their own homes,’’ he said.
The Family Homes Funds is a federal government social housing scheme mandated to provide up to 500,000 affordable homes for Nigerians by 2023.
Clarion has become the first housing association in the UK to be approved for a newly created sustainable housing label, which aims to help affordable housing providers attract capital from impact investors.
Developed by German consultancy Ritterwald, the ‘Certified Sustainable Housing Label’ was created as a tool to measure the sustainability of housing providers based on 30 social and green indicators.
To be awarded the label housing associations must prove they meet these indicators, which include tenant involvement, the installation of renewable energy sources and an emphasis on energy efficiency for new builds.
The indicators for the label mirror the United Nations’ goals for sustainable development, which have become the benchmark goals for impact investing.
Being part of the initiative will also allow Clarion to benchmark its performance on sustainability against other housing associations across Europe.
Other affordable housing providers which have been awarded the label include German landlord Gewobag and French landlord Vilogia.
Rob Lane, group commercial director at Clarion, said: “As the UK’s largest affordable housing provider, creating truly sustainable communities where people can thrive is at the core of our mission.
“By following these internationally recognised standards we will be better informed about the impacts our activities have on the communities we serve.”
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..
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.”
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa has said that the bank is currently financing the development of multiple affordable housing projects in at least 20 states of the federation.
While speaking on Friday to Housing Tv’s on one on one segment in Abuja, Dangiwa said that in partnership with NECA, Trade Union Congress and Nigeria Labour Congress they have acquired free plots of lands from state governments across the country and for which they have provided designs and funding, and handed them to developers to build homes that are affordable for the beneficiaries.
He said, ‘’currently in the north central, we have developed such houses in Nasarawa and Kogi and are being packaged for the end users. In the North West we have in Sokoto and Jigawa. In the North East, we have in Borno and Adamawa. In the South East we have in Abia and Enugu. In South West we have in Ondo and Osun. We also have in Lagos and Abuja.’’
According to him, a total of about 13 sites that are about to be commissioned in the next few months and handed over to beneficiaries.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Housing and Urban Development, Senator Sam Egwu has said that the legislative arm of government is ready to enact and amend the housing sector bills that will enable the development of the sector and reduce the country’s housing deficit.
The Senator made this known on Thursday in Abuja while delivering his goodwill message at the 8th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development with the theme: “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Development.”
Senator Sam Egwu said the responsibility of any Government was to provide affordable houses for its citizens.
“We at the National Assembly will provide the legislative support to move the housing sector forward. We are ready to work on any bill sent to us,” he said.
The Senator also stressed that collaboration between all stakeholders in the sector was very crucial in achieving affordable housing for Nigerians.
The Senator has proven this himself in a recent meeting with Housing Development Advocacy Network – a housing sector advocacy group – who are preparing a list of all bills necessary for enactment and amendment by the National Assembly.
These bills, if amended will help address some issues like lands administration, access to funding and many others which affect projects delivery and investments in the housing sector.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has called for closer ties with the state governments to address housing deficit in the country.
He said that for the objective of providing adequate housing for Nigerians to be achieved, state governments should be on the same page with the Federal Government.
Speaking at the 8th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development with the “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Prosperity”, with representatives of the states of the Federation, Fashola, said the country cannot achieve much if all of its component parts are not contributing much as expected.
According to him, “no matter how much we intend to achieve in terms of housing, we need the states to work with us, while implementing their own programmes to also collaborate with us. That is the first important thing I want to say. Of all the National Councils of the various Ministries, perhaps the Council on Lands and Housing and Urban Development is perhaps the most important one.
“While the Federal Government wants to commit to Housing and Urban Development for its economic, social and other benefits, interestingly it is the state governments, who by virtue of the Land Use Act that control the land. So how do you build if you do not have land and that is why I say this council meeting is so important, because collaboration can be fostered. Land can be made available as it was done at the 2016 Council when we wanted to start the National Housing pilot project. It was the states who gave the land, the 34 states and I am happy to report that we are building in all those states today. We need that cooperation to continue.
“Also since 2003 the Supreme Court of Nigeria had determined that Urban Development and Planning is a matter exclusively preserved for the jurisdiction of state governments. So it is not just important for you to own land what you do with that land and how you use it is a matter solely controlled by the state.”
He continued that, “therefore whatever the FG seeks to achieve in terms of urban development, housing development, it needs collaboration with the states and this is important. It is important therefore that this collaboration must continue especially if Nigeria is to achieve her housing aspirations. The cooperation between us and the states must be the foundation of the prosperity we want to achieve; this is why we chose this year’s theme.”
As accommodation deficit has continued to increase at an alarming rate in Nigeria, state governors have been advised to partronise housing corporations in order to reduce the ugly trend.
According to the Chairman, Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria (AHCN), Alhaji Mohammed Baba-Adamu, this singular effort will encourage affordable housing and reduce redundancy among state housing corporations.
In an interview with New Telegraph, Baba-Adamu, who claimed to have made several efforts to reach the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF),lamented that government’s patronage of housing corporations was not as expected, adding that this was responsible for inactivity among the agencies.“Housing corporations in many states are almost dormant. It is like they are not even functional due to lack of patronage by the state governors,” he said.
In the past, virtually every state established housing corporations in the seventies to operate as property developers of the government.
The corporations funding came mainly from government allocations, while units were usually sold for cash.
Often, both low and middle-income earners were the target market for these housing developments.
Prospective buyers either paid cash or were allowed to make payments in installments during the period of construction as mortgage finance was not always available.
Worried by the current development, the AHCN boss said he had been doing everything possible to contact states to patronise housing corporations, noting that they have all it takes to develop houses for citizens.
He traced low or non-patronage of housing corporations by government to the era of democracy, where governors preferred to give contracts to party members at exorbitant cost instead of giving them to the agencies.
According to him, something that housing corporations would have done at half the price but probably because the agencies would not give them political patronage they expected, governors would award the contracts to party members.
Baba-Adamu said: “I am just using that as an example. I want to say that it is one of the challenges we are having.
“We just have our people sitting down, doing nothing and collecting salaries. And you are giving the jobs to other people and paying higher for it.”
To turn the tide, he disclosed thathis board had beenmaking efforts to see how it could get the attention of members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to make presentations to them so that they could patronize housing corporations.
On high cost of housing units, the president of AHCN stated that what actually affected affordability was the issue of building materials, noting that a bag of cement that sold for N1,300 10 years ago now cost N2,600.
Meanwhile, housing expertshave also called for collaborationbetween housing cooperatives and the corporationsin addressing rental and low income housing shortage in Nigeria.
The experts pointed out thatcooperatives remained a viable option to enhance housing availability and affordability as well as mobilizing resources and off-takers in tackling funding mechanism challenge.
They called on state governments to speed up the adoption of legal framework for judicial enforcement of mortgagesand foreclosure legislations to boost investor confidence and streamline bureaucracies in Nigeria’s mortgage market.
The experts pointed out that lack of adoption of foreclosure laws to safeguard investors was one of the impediments to attraction of housing finance to the sector.
They identifed various challenges associated with site development and management of real estates and rental housing. These, they said, had resulted in loss of money through avenues such as proliferation of materials and inflation of prices of building materials.
To solve the problems, Baba-Adamu and the secretary of AHCN, Olusola Martins, enjoinedall housing agencies to embrace modern technology and digital solution for development and management of real estates and rental housing.
They bemoaned dearth of skilled and unskilled labour in the housing sector, pressingto kick-start the retraining of housing personnel especially professionals that supervises projects on sites to mitigate incessant building collapse and drive production of quality housing in Nigeria.
They also bemoaned drop in commitment by government towards National Housing Fund contribution, imploring themto sustain it in order to make funds available for housing development.
The experts called FMBN to make loans process more applicant friendly by removing all bureaucratic hurdles and demonstrate a verifiable and transparent trend of benefits to NHF contributors nationwide in order to win back the confidence of states that have withdrawn.
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.”
NASARAWA state government has said that it would collaborate with private sectors for the construction of mass housing scheme in the state.
The Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Philip Dada, made this known in Lafia while speaking to journalists on Wednesday, said the present administration under Egnr Abdulahi Sule, has plans for the construction of Maas housing scheme in Karu Local Government Council.
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“The Governor has said it all, that he is going to focus on a mass housing project with attention given to Karu axis, because of the population that is there.
” We are going to involve private sectors to drive this process, using various kinds of arrangement, the policies involved would be made available in due course”, he said.
The commissioner, further stressed that the present administration is also giving attention to roads construction in both rural and urban areas, stressing that infrastructural development is a key area in Governor Abdulahi Sule’s administration and would continue to do all it could to ensure that people enjoy social immunities in the state.