Since its establishment, Family Homes Funds, which is currently the biggest social housing fund in Nigeria has constantly shown — through words and actions — that their primary beneficiaries are those in the low to middle income categories.
This fact was recently reemphasized at a webinar organized by the Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), which dwelled on digital off takers affordability profiling and some recent experiences.
Dr Banke Abejirin, head of strategy and business performance of the fund, who represented the Managing Director, Femi Adewole, stated clearly that providing affordable homes for the low income Nigerian remains their top and most prominent priority.
According to Abejirin, it is very important for the fund to always undertake a thorough due diligence in order to properly identify those who genuinely fall into this low income category.
“What we have begun doing is to ask for the profile of target beneficiaries, so not only do they bring forward their proposals, or their drawings, but we ask: who are the off takers? what are their income levels? will they be able to afford the houses you are building? because we don’t want to end up with white elephant projects, its not enough for houses to be built but its definitely imperative for people to afford those houses,” she said.
Moving in this direction is now influencing state governments too. According to her, most of the proposal they now get are for low income earners, civil servants and Internally Displaced Persons.
This is the group of people that certainly need homes the most in Nigeria. With age-long focus on the rich, it will be indeed a relief if the fund sees this through. Making sure that low or no income earners are able to get backing from the government to finally have a decent and affordable roof over their heads.
The fund speaks frequently about the issue of affordability, and according to her, that will never change.
“What we do is to ensure that the prices of these proposals are low. We don’t sponsor luxurious home and so we want to ensure that the price range is low and affordable to majority of the low income Nigerians.”
She was also quick to add that affordability for them doesn’t and will not mean houses of poor quality. Through collaborations with other housing sector stakeholders, the fund is keen on building subsidized but good quality homes for the poor.
As a result, the fund according to her is still open to collaborating with both private and public sector stakeholders in order to ensure the housing need of Nigerians are met.
“FHF is very ready to work and partner with various stakeholders. Inherent with how we were set up is to work with existing stakeholders, innovate in reaching out to new stakeholders to ensure we are able to meet the gap.”
“We are working collaboratively with NMRC, to ensure we refinance some of the loans in our Help to Own projects ane leveraging their capacity. For our own houses we have off takers who are using the NHF. So we are working with the FMBN, recognizing their own strength as well,” she said
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