Housing problems and policy issues in Nigeria is a topic everyone has something to contribute to anytime the debate is on. We have had many input, discussion and submission on housing problem and policy in the past but what we fail to suss is the fact that the housing problem is not only due to lack of funds, heavy taxation, poor mortgage system etc as portrayed by some self acclaimed real estate professionals but is rather our failure to critically examine the root cause of our housing problems that is why housing policy and strategy implementation failed and of course not articulating our findings accurately.
There is no doubt on my mind that the mainstay of providing decent and affordable housing besides accessibility to fund is to have a functional housing policy and strategy that can be implemented to the letter in the true sense of the word, to simply put it, the major housing problem in Nigeria is poor housing strategy implementation that is if at all there is any to be implemented to start with.
The deficit in housing or the inability of government to meet the housing needs of the people most especially the class of citizens that represent the nucleus of its economy that is the lower and middle class is due to lack of a well structured and functional housing system, lack of fundamental provisions in our laws and most especially the implementation of this housing plan.
The need for government to promulgate good housing laws, policy and rent control and regulation is imminent because the current housing policy lacks creativity and flexibility which makes it extremely difficult for not only the middle class but also for the people to afford a home which they can call their own because of lack of accessibility of fund.
In addition real estate investors, professionals most especially real estate services companies also are in dire need of an industry that would allow them ply their trade with ease to further enhance and improve upon the way real estate business transactions are executed provided the government addresses important policy and strategy issues hindering the business activities of the people.
As mentioned earlier in this post and as extensively discussed in one of my previous post on this platform titled how to successfully manage real estate challenges where many of real estate and housing problems and challenges were discussed and of course solutions proffered but the truth is the real issues that could have been responsible for some of these housing problems have not been discussed or shared by anyone because many times professionals shy away from this lingering problem of implementation.
The question is, have you ever wondered why government has not considered all suggestion to housing problem or solutions proffered by renowned real estate professionals in the past in spite of the enormous benefits and gains the people and government can derive by adopting and applying some of these wonderful and creative housing initiatives, ideas and suggestion.
It will be unwise to say government is not aware or has not considered taking action on any of these housing opinion but what I find difficult to fathom is that the more government tries to improve upon the housing problem most times to me it seems like action steps just to prettify our housing needs because most of what is needed to be done are not factored into the housing strategy.
We have never had a housing policy or strategy that considers the housing needs of the middle class, lower class, vulnerables, people living with disability or physically challenged citizen, the retired senior citizens and the homeless roaming the street.
This error of strictly focusing the housing strategy on the elites and the upper class and not including the masses and the vulnerables has been a jealously guarded secrets by the government and this explicates why solutions and suggestion on housing policies and strategies are deliberately disregarded by the government whenever the issues are discussed.
Without mincing word, most of the government housing development projects littered across the country at moment can only be afforded by the rich, wealthy and those with financial muscle. if you ask me not many people particularly the working class can have access to or qualify for a mortgage loan facility to execute a building project of their own because of lack of downpayment, collateral, equity contribution or meeting up with loan requirements for loan approval.
Perhaps if government introduces tax incentives, benefits, advantages and deductibles to the people according to their sociatal class will not only to encourage them and other real estate professionals alike to consider building wealth with real estate investing but also to help them build financial stability.
Unfortunately the middle and lower class as well as the vulnerables, that is the physically challenged individuals, retired senior citizens, people in dire need of home etc have no access to mortgage loan facilities, tax incentives, tax savings, benefits, deductibles due to poor housing policy and strategy and not lack or fund as misconstrued by many professionals.
The bad news is that tax incentives, benefits, depreciation etc are designed for large corporate organization, big business owners, companies to compensate them for creating jobs and employment while the employees and sole business owners pay tax that are most times deducted from source before they could lay hands on their wages and salaries.
Little did government know that if it could lend a hand in addressing the housing needs of the middle, lower class and the vulnerables by redirecting its housing strategy to their needs it would go a long way to resolve many the primary and physiological needs of the people.
Today we have many people hospitalized due to various ailment, health issues and diseases all of which can be traced to lack of good meal, water and of course poverty.
As a result the number people, that is the working class, who are eligible to work and support in nation building is decreasing exponentially and we can’t talk about nation building without having a society with sound and well adjusted individuals who are not only physically strong but also make mentally sound.
The element of surprise is that providing decent affordable housing for the vulnerables, homeless, physically challenged individuals etc that most people regarded as menace to the society would not only help in the reduction of some of these health issues like stress, depression but will also reduce the moral decadence, street crimes, and social vices in the society and our communities.
Unfortunately, I would love to drop the curtain here on this post and there is alot more discussion on this issue on error in real the housing policy and strategy as well as alot more secrets to be shared. This is just the first part on these series hopefully we shall continue the discussion from here next time.
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