The Senate Committee on Housing will work with relevant agencies to fast-track the restructuring and commercialization of the Federal Housing Authority.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade said this in Abuja when he led his colleagues on an oversight visit to the Authority’s headquarters.

Gemade said urgent legislative action wan required to fast track the reform and commercialization of the FHA which had been on-going since 1992.

He said the planned amendment would strengthen the Authority and return it to its pride of place as an effective national instrument for housing delivery.

Accompanied on the visit by four members of the committee, Gemade noted that the fortunes of the FHA had been adversely affected by somersaults in government policy.

He said the removal of the FHA from government funding had stacked the odds against the agency and abridged it ability to deliver on its mandate.

To further strengthen the Authority, Gemade promised that his committee would explore the possibility of its benefitting from the Central Bank’s N30 billion Real Estate Development Intervention Fund.

He directed the Authority’s Managing Director to furnish the committee with a list of all its completed and on-going housing projects, list of all partnership projects, loan portfolio, and nominal roll.

During an inspection visit to the FHA/ENL Paradise Hills Estate, Apo, Abuja, Gemade expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on the houses.

He said FHA had demonstrated a high level of professional competence in delivering quality houses for medium ad high income earners and urged it to brace up to build houses for millions of the nation’s low income earners.

Welcoming the committee members earlier, the Managing Director, Professor Mohammed Al-Amin said there was need to strengthen the Authority’s ability to deliver on its social housing mandate through special subventions and regular budgetary allocation.

He also pleaded with the committee to facilitate the completion of the ongoing reform process in the Authority by hastening work on the amendment of the law establishing it.

Al-Amin said the FHA had depended solely on public private partnerships to deliver houses since government funding for it stopped.

By Emmanuel Okezie