Developers Asked to Turn to Affordable Housing
About 150 participants drawn from the affordable housing value chain rose from a two-day affordable housing sector dialogue last Thursday with a call on government and developers to consider doing more in the provision of housing for the low income earners.
It is said that one-third of the world’s urban population lives in slums. In Nigeria, the low income population normally affected include: low grade civil servants, traders, drivers, commercial motorcyclists, mechanics, motor tyre repairers commonly called vulcanisers, barbers, farmers etc. The meeting which noted that the largest need for housing in Nigeria is found at the bottom of the pyramid (77 percent) stated that many Nigerians earn less than N500,000 per annum.
The workshop jointly organized by GIZ and the Millard Fuller Foundation maintained that there is big market for affordable housing solution yet private investors place priority on the high-end segment.
Speaking at the close of the workshop, GIZ Nigeria Country Director, Dr. Thomas Kirsch said, “We should be aware of the fact that this market is growing by the day. Yet, most housing projects from both governments and the private sector put much more emphasis on high-income and middle-
income segments. So the ones who need housing the most are generally neglected…”
According to Kirsch the urban population of Nigeria is projected to grow from 3.9 billion in 2014 to 6.4 billion in 2050 noting that just the countries alone – China, India and Nigeria will add nearly 2.5 billion to the world’s urban population.
He explained, “This rapid urbanization, paired with high population growth as well as economic progress puts housing markets especially in developing countries under pressure.
“Today already, one billion people lack access to decent shelter even though housing is widely recognized as a human right around the world. Even though households at the base of the economic pyramid might have only little money to spend, they are nevertheless spending about USD 700 billion on housing every year.
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