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Nigerian architects suggest solution to housing deficit

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Nigerian architects, under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects (ANCA), have called for the deployment of integrative informal settlement and social housing provision.

The group said this is one of the ways to solve the nation’s increasing housing needs and supply for the different categories of citizens, especially for the urban poor.

ANCA, while celebrating the World Architecture Day 2022 which coincided with the World Habitat Day, in a statement co-signed by Dr Noyor Omatsone and Dr. Koye Jolaoso, president and secretary of the group, said Nigeria’s housing gap could be bridged with the integrative approach.

According to the chartered architects, the approach underscores the need for dynamic and responsive policies, programmes and projects towards an accelerated delivery and supply of safe, decent and healthy housing that is adequate, accessible, affordable and acceptable especially to the urban poor.

They are of the opinion that might be the reason experts in the sector in the globe are talking about “Mind the Gap, Leave No One and No Place Behind,” a theme for this year’s World Habitat Day.

According to Omatsone and  Jolaoso, the informal settlements  are not entirely precarious or hopeless but possess inherent potentialities as solution towards increasing the housing supply-side for decent, safe and healthy habitation through strategic intervention, such that its planning and development processes are socially regulated, regenerated and integrated into the subsisting planning and building regulations.

To get this done, ANCA said “The responsibility is a collective duty and commitment of all stakeholders,” urging adoption of development models like State Budgetary Finance Commitments (SBFC), Designated Consolidated Housing Fund (DCHF); Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN); and Private Mortgage Institutions (PMI).

“There is s need for group formations for crowd-funding, CDAs/unions/cooperative; REIT, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) financing among others for the delivery of affordable and social housing schemes with the government’s intervention through attractive incentives as a social responsibility and her objective performance of the transitory interplay of roles as provider, enabler, facilitator and regulator in order to engender trust, confidence and interest of investors,” they said.

According to the chartered architects, these development models provide inherent abilities to be off-taker/up-taker driven in terms of adequacy in quality, acceptability, geo-political or cultural idiosyncrasies and socio-economic capabilities on an agreeable and reasonable periodic equity contribution or repayment regime for mortgage or rentals or rent-to-own or build-to-own of the housing units.

ANCA urged architects to work with the dwellers, rather than impose ideas, by showing them alternative approach(es) towards improving their living condition and attaining a decent, healthy and safe built environment.

“It is therefore our informed view to reiterate that the Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects (ANCA), the Nigerian Architecture family, her Statutory Regulatory Agency (ARCON) in collaboration with other relevant professional bodies/associations, government and development partners can achieve this through the deployment of appropriate value for needs assessment, creative design solutions; effective, efficient and acceptable pro-poor policies and programmes/projects that will engender equitable development and investments in affordable and social housing projects, which is in line with the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

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