FG, State Govts Urged To Expand Access To Titled Land For Increased Housing Supply

Stakeholders in the real estate sector have identified ways that both government and private players can up-scale the supply of housing towards addressing the issue of housing deficit and affordability plaguing the country.

The stakeholders who spoke at the 16th Africa International Housing Show (AIHS) held in Abuja recently noted that Africa as a whole is faced with the challenge of severe housing deficit and affordability, adding that there is need for a change in approach in resolving the issue.

The 16th Abuja International Housing Show which had the theme, “HOUSING FOR ALL: The Role of Government in Creating an Effective Enabling Environment” brought together big players in the real estate and construction sector from within and outside the shores of the country with the aim to proffering solutions to the housing challenges currently facing the continent.

In a communiqué released at the end of the conference, the stakeholders not only called for the need to urgently improve the supply of housing units but also identified ways this can be achieved.

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According to speakers at the conference, housing units supply can be improved through completion of on-going projects which will be facilitated by access to debt finances and subsidies.

They also called on government to expand access to titled land through reforms and regulation of policies, facilitate permitting by using realistic, sustainable and affordable standards.

Stakeholders also called for the use of technology for new land registration, surveying and land value capture mechanisms to pay for infrastructure and cross subsidies.

As the cost of building materials continue to skyrocket due to macroeconomic factors such as inflation and foreign exchange, speakers also touched on the need to produce domestic building materials.

Stakeholders called on government to be proactive in ensuring ease of access to land, while also promoting the private sector collaboration in affordable housing schemes.

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“Additionally, housing provision should fulfill the provision of social amenities for the disadvantaged in society. To achieve this, good governance and citizen participation are sacrosanct for any reasonable government embarking on a successful sustainable and affordable housing program.

“To succeed in initiating and implementing sustainable and affordable housing for low-income households, stakeholder participation in the decision-making process must be ensured.”

On the importance of the Abuja International Housing Show, the communiqué added, “Strings of economic shocks have battered our economies with negative effects on economic growth.

“Housing has the potential to drive economic recovery with a targeted approach on priority policy areas including derisking developer and mortgage finance; scaling up supply through regulation, innovation, etc. All these require buy-in from high level public and private policy-makers. The Africa International Housing Show brings all players together for this purpose.”

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