Babatunde Fashola, a former minister of works and housing, has provided arguments for why, in order to lower the number of homeless people in the nation, the government and stakeholders must further enhance the rent-to-own program.
During his keynote speech at the Federal Housing Authority’s current 50th anniversary celebration in Abuja on Thursday, he made the recommendation.
The former minister claims that most people’s ability to pay for homes outright is a barrier to home ownership.
Therefore, rent-to-own programs need to be expanded by both the federal and state governments.
“Homelessness is the most dehumanizing experience for a human being,” he declared, adding that politicians and decision-makers ought to address the issue with the utmost conviction. The harsh but sad reality is that not everyone will be able to afford to purchase a home; nevertheless, I firmly think that rental housing is achievable for everyone, depending on both how it is constructed and how rent is paid.
As a result, our housing policy needs to emphasize rentals just as much as it does ownership. Rent-to-own programs, which were initiated by the previous government, should thus not be let to expire.
“It would be better, in my opinion, to expand federal and state rent-to-own programs and to advocate more vigorously for state legislators to enact legislation that would facilitate rent payment and bring it closer to parity with wages and salaries.”
Speaking on the topic of “The future of housing in Nigeria and 50 years of FHA: A call to action for political leaders and policymakers from decent and affordable housing,” Fashola also urged state legislators to support more state legislation that would facilitate rent payments and bring them into line with salaries and wages.
He emphasized that the FHA must take this into consideration and that the country’s housing policies must be geared toward rental housing. He also added that new approaches to home ownership must emerge in light of the 50th anniversary celebration.
“FHA must become a proper business run on very strict corporate governance principles that conform with global best practice and this will be consistent with previous attempts to commercialize or privatize the authority,” the former governor of Lagos State charged in addition to offering recommendations on financing, housing types, affordability, people’s participation, and maintenance.
He stated, “FHA should acknowledge that the market demand is likely to be dominated by those in the 25–35 age range, and it would be beneficial for FHA to carry out a very competent assessment of what their demands are prior to designing and construction.
“As this is the terminology used by this class of purchasers, I would also recommend that FHA consider the payment method that this group of prospective buyers will use and factor in digital channels for sales, advertising, and payment. There is a chance of failure if FHA anticipates that this group of purchasers would visit their offices to gather paperwork, purchase a home, and navigate some of the antiquated red tape that FHA has stored away over the years.