As the world changes rapidly, urbanization has led to high demand for affordable housing. Affordability is not about making just any type of home available but it is about making homes that can match the different standards or livings and income levels available.
In a recent study of cities around the world, 90 per cent of these cities were considered unaffordable as their housing prices appeared three times more than the average income earned by the occupants of these cities.
In Nigeria, an empirical study was carried out in 2018 and it was further evidence that 75% of urban settlers (due to migration of people from rural to urban areas in a bid for a better life) are unable to afford their choice homes and so live in improper housing.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to a lack of affordability of houses and they include majorly demographic changes such as population growth, the supply of housing not equating to the demand, available housing not equating to the income levels particularly in the case of Nigeria.
The Federal Government established the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development between the year 2000 and 2004. This parastatal only concerned itself with basic infrastructure provision and the provision of affordable housing which was one of the purposes of the establishment was left to the private sector. Further in 2012, the National Housing Policy of 1999 was improved upon and its major concern was to provide affordable housing by 2020.
Also, in 2014, the Federal Government approved of a private company (NMRC) Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company. The sole intent of this privately inaugurated company was to allow for opportunities for Nigerians to own affordable homes through mass housing.
Now in 2020, there are still issues of increase and inconsistent cost of building materials, access to land for affordable housing construction is at a high cost, duration of the property registration with the appropriate authorities is lengthy, shortage of housing finance and the ones available are at a high-interest rate, little or no housing grants, mass housing available is at exorbitant prices hence not available for low to medium level income families. Therefore, it's obvious that this housing policy of 2012 has been ineffective and the NMRC intent has not been actualized.
In a developing country like Nigeria, Urbanization will still be at a high rate but it is imperative to explore sustainable options to cater for this affordable housing and infrastructure.
The Nigerian Housing Policy of 2012 if properly implemented and monitored, its suggested outcomes are achievable as its contents have the solution to the affordable housing and infrastructure problems as its focal point. Although, as we know the world is constantly changing, new techniques have been discovered after the policy was improved upon and should be taken into consideration as this will allow for sustainable growth in the sector.
- Options of using container homes for development by the private sector and possibly by the government will bridge the gap of exorbitant pricing to affordable housing and infrastructure and this also helps in achieving the sustainable goals of communities. This will, in turn, assist the development of rental affordable housing and infrastructure in Nigeria as it is very important.