As part of the efforts to tackle the problem of accommodation in an emerging megacity and make affordable housing available to the residents, Lagos State government has disclosed that it is working hard to deliver 20,000 affordable housing units in the first 3 years of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration.

Towards achieving this feat, the State government stated that it has embarked on massive urban renewal and slum upgrading/regeneration work in partnership with some private developers and relevant stakeholders in the built industry to close the housing deficit gap and improve residents’ access to affordable housing.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, disclosed this today at an event organised by the government to mark the 2017 World Habitat Day at Alausa, Ikeja.

Ambode said his administration is poised to provide an enabling environment for investment in the housing sector in line with its desire to provide decent and affordable housing for all the residents irrespective of their tribe or background.

The Governor expressed happiness at the State government’s ability to deliver a total of 4,355 Housing units across the 3 Senatorial Districts under the popular Rent-To-Own scheme, adding that the ongoing redevelopment work at Adeniji Adele Phase I-V is part of the efforts to ease accommodation problem of the residents.

According to him, “The redevelopment of Isale-Gangan Phase 1into the construction of 11 floor-structures with 48 serviced luxury apartments and the second Phase of the project would yield a 13-floor apartment structure also aimed at easing the problem of accommodation in the State”.

While describing the theme for the Year 2017 celebration: “Housing Policies, Affordable Homes” as relevant and apt, Ambode noted that it is a clarion call by the United Nations on governments around the world to provide housing within the reach of the common man.

Ambode reaffirmed the commitment of the present administration to providing housing units that will be affordable to the common man, saying “Our promise to make life more comfortable for our people was made, keeping in mind, the need to provide decent and affordable housing for all”.

Earlier, the State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, TPL Wasiu Anifowoshe stated that since inception, the present administration has paid special attention to the issue of environment, physical planning and housing because they are critical to improvement, preservation and better living condition of the people.

He noted that the State government has embarked on reforms that have helped to bring a lot of improvements to the sector, urging people to abide by the government guidelines before construction to avoid danger.

In his lecture, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, a former Commissioner for Lands in Lagos State, identified policy inconsistency and restructuring as well as lack of true and binding national affordable housing scheme, as factors hindering the provision of affordable housing in the country.

Arthur-Worrey urged governments to consider trends and disparities in income and wealth in policy formulation to address the challenges of affordable housing.

”Governments should put in place rent control legislation and control to curb landlord’s excesses and protect the rights of tenants. They should also improve economic output and income for people to be able to cater for their housing challenges, ”he said.

Mr. Rowland Kayalga, Director, United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, commended the State government for its efforts in ensuring an inclusive, safe, resilient, sustainable, affordable and accessible housing for residents.

He said, ”Of all the states in Nigeria, only Lagos State commemorates World Habitat Day, as such, I am calling on other states to emulate Lagos so as to bring to the front burner the housing challenges in the nation”.

”Your greener and cleaner Lagos initiative, improved urban planning and slum upgrade are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is commendable, ” he stated.

By Marc Philips