Housing: Sanwo-Olu, Fashola canvass monthly rental system


Nigeria is ripe for an inclusive rental system that will reduce the housing burden on working families, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said. 

The Governor, who said this at the just-concluded 10th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Lagos, argued that the current rental model in which people remit yearly rent in advance to property owners had become inadequate to address contemporary realities in the housing sector, especially in cities where demand for properties is high and expensive. 

Sanwo-olu advocated for monthly rental system, which, he said, would be affordable to low and middle income earners who are pressured by yearly rent obligation. 

Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, corroborated this  position, stressed that yearly rental system had created inequality in housing supply and widened affordability gap for low-income earners. 

The audience at the forum held in Ikeja with the theme: “Housing Development as a Catalyst for Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Economic Development”, comprised Commissioners for Housing and Urban Development across 36 States, Permanent Secretaries in the States’ Housing ministries, lawmakers on Housing Committees, surveyors, town planners, builders and other stakeholders in the built industry. 

Sanwo-Olu, according to a press released signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, urged policy makers to consider the suggestion and initiate regulatory framework that would aid transition to new rental system. The Governor said Lagos was already working out monthly rent modalities to accommodate residents not keen on State’s home ownership scheme. 

He said: “In building homes, we do not only enhance the family ecosystem by providing a decent setting for raising future leaders, we also strengthen the economy through provision of economic engagements for professionals, artisans, suppliers, home decorators. In delivering decent shelters, we must care for both low-income and high-earners because housing is such a basic human need for everyone. 

“In Lagos, we operate a very robust Rent-to-Own programme of five per cent down payment and six per cent simple interest rate payable over a period of 10 years. We are working on another product, which is a purely rental system, where residents will pay monthly. This is to accommodate those who are not keen on home ownership and address current realities. In doing this, we believe that no one would be excluded from our intervention in this critical sector.” 

The Governor listed the progress recorded in the last two years of his administration in housing sector, pointing out that his Government had raised the housing stock in Lagos by the completion, delivery and commissioning of no fewer than 10 housing schemes spread all over the State. 

Sanwo-Olu said several other housing projects were being developed and worked on in various parts of Lagos to increase access to decent accommodation for the populace. Some of the housing schemes, the Governor said, are being delivered through direct budgetary allocation, while implementing others through joint ventures with the private sector players. 

He said the partnership with the private sector contributed significantly in increasing the outcome of housing products in Lagos, urging other States to explore the option for their own urban development. 

He said: “We are hopeful that by the end of this year, we would have added additional 2,100 units of decent homes to our stock, as we prepare for the completion and commissioning of another five housing schemes in Ibeshe, Odo Onosa Ayandelu, Agbowa, Sangotedo and Gbagada. These will bring a total of 15 schemes completed by my administration. It is our hope that by the third quarter of 2022, a total of 7,000 homes would have been completed from both direct budgetary allocation and joint venture schemes.” 

Fashola, a former Governor of Lagos, on his part, said monthly rental model may not translate to making all Nigerians home owners, but it would help reduce the number of citizens who lack decent shelters and live on the edge, among other things. 

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