Listed among the basic needs of man is the need for shelter. Housing is one of the most important components of urban economic development in any country, but according to the United Nations Habitat, 30 per cent of the world’s urban population resides in slums, with deplorable conditions, where people suffer from several deficiencies, including lack of access to improved water, absence of sewage facilities, living in overcrowded conditions, and in buildings that are structurally unsound.
Housing is of crucial importance to the quality of life with considerable economic, social, cultural and personal significance. Nevertheless, what is “housing”, if it’s not affordable? Indeed, the unaffordable housing is much more common than the-impossible-to-ignore situations.
To own a home in most urban cities of Nigeria like Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Kaduna, Lagos etc. does not come cheap, and this is the reason for the constant outcry for government’s intervention in the provision of housing, especially for the poor and the not-too-poor in the society, who cannot afford hefty fees charged by private sector estate developers.
But how do we exactly define affordable housing? This question has been such an intricate topic, which has been subjected to different analysis and continuous debate among experts. Although compromise can be reached about a definition of affordable housing, which is centred on the idea of a “households should pay no more than 30% of their income for housing, including utilities”. From recent survey published by KPMG, it was reported that 77 per cent of Nigerians earn less than N40, 000 monthly hence affordability for this level would be determined as a house costing no more than 30 per cent of N40, 000 (N12, 000).
With this analysis in comparison to the current housing cost in Lagos for example that was recently ranked the 3rd most unaffordable city to live in the world, most middle class and low-income earner consider it almost impossible to own their own homes.
How then can a low-income-earner own a house?
Unknown to most people are the opportunities that now avail for middle and low-income earners to build or purchase their own house(s). These platforms are;
1. Payment for Lands in Instalment: For individuals (like in the case of middle & low-income earners) who cannot afford to make outright payment for the land of your choice, opportunities exist for payment to be spread over a period of time. Many prominent real estate firms offer alternative methods to spread payment for the land for about 12-24 months and sometimes over. This is one avenue to buy land and pay a token either from your salary or business. And after completing the payment, you can gradually commence the construction of your house.
2. Rent-To-Own: Rent-to-own is a contract to buy, but the closing date has been extended a year or two into the future. A rent-to-own situation takes place when a tenant or potential tenant is given an option of becoming the owner of a property after a length of time while they pay a specific amount monthly/yearly based on the agreement with the landlord. Many property developers and real estate in Nigeria run these schemes to help meet the housing deficit challenges in the country.
3. Join a Housing Co-operative Society: One proven strategy of building an affordable housing apartment is by joining a housing co-operative society. As a member, you are offered loans with a low-interest rate. This form of housing loans has helped many people to finance their house project with ease. In this system, cooperative society members bring resources together to finance the construction of low-cost housing apartment for members. It is a way out of shelter problem. It fosters togetherness, provides and puts available resources at the doorsteps of members to actualize home ownership.
Why you must attend Real Estate Unite 2017.
Real estate unite 2017 provides an unparalleled opportunity both for the property developer, real estate investor and/or real estate firm to network, meet and discuss with potential clients and vice versa. This event is scheduled to hold on the 17th and 18th of October 2017 at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.
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