Efforts have been stepped up in reducing the nation’s housing deficit, with the commencement of construction on a mini estate in a secure and serene highbrow neighbourhood in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The project, a brainchild of a real estate development company, Structuracasa, has been christened Crimson Court and consists of terrace town houses in the exclusive Jericho GRA. It is located near the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) and Nigerian Institute of Horticultural Research (NIHORT).

Designed for well-heeled clientele and discerning investors with sophisticated taste, Crimson Court comprises three buildings each containing four terrace homes arranged in town house style.

Each of the 12 terrace units will be arranged on three floors with four en-suite bedrooms and outdoor terraces. Each unit will also have an attached maid’s room. The modern architectural style has light filled spaces through large expanses of glazing. The ceilings are soaring up to 3.6 meters and double volume spaces.

The estate, which sits on over one acre of land, will have 24/7 security, adequate parking space, adequate drainage, constant water supply, piped gas supply, back-up power generator, serene landscape, swimming pool, children’s play area and more.

According to the Managing Director, Structuracasa Nigeria Limited, Jade Alade, an architect, “potential buyers can pay in structured installments or lump sum. Early buyers during construction will enjoy price discounts.”

He explained that the estate is privately financed by the company in conjunction with private investors. “Structuracasa’s vision is the democratization of home ownership through the use of innovative construction techniques to enhance building quality, construction speed and cost management. We partner with governments and private parties and provide turnkey development across the value chain from affordable mass housing to mid range housing.”

Mr. Alade disclosed that the exchange rate is significantly impacting the cost of construction, particularly the finishing stages as most of the good quality finishing materials used for housing projects are imported.

“We look forward to local high quality production of some inputs that can help reduce the foreign exchange burden. Design and specifications using local materials will also play a part in managing cost moving forward.”

On how government can ensure affordable housing for the populace, he said: “Reducing the legal and registration transaction costs relating to land and housing construction are very important.   Functional and easily accessible title registries will reduce fraud in land transactions.

“Stable policies that encourage some standardization of building components will help import substitution players get their acts together. What Dangote has done with cement can be expanded to a lot of other building materials and components.”

•The Guardian