A new group of developers, launched in Lagos, recently, has promised to build homes for Nigerians at the lowest possible cost.
The project, known as the Low Cost Housing Developers Association, (LCHDA), compresses all the practitioners in the housing industry, including the unskilled in the housing industry.
Speaking to journalist, the initiator of the programme, Mr. Emmanuel Ogheide stated that the association is made up of architects, lawyers, building technologist, building engineers, civil engineers and all professionals in the building industry.
“It is a group of people who have come together to give back to society by way of making housing affordable, mostly by offering their expertise.
So, what we do mostly is to touch lives in the society through the provision of accommodation. “In order to get this done we realised that a lot of people need housing or housing services, but the challenge is that it is above what they can afford, to make it affordable we have to come up with this scheme which ensure that the average person, the low income household or individual are able to afford and live in a decent accommodation.”
According to him, there are a lot of NGOs doing stuffs in the health sector, education, environment, sports etc, which are good; we don’t have problems with that, but no one is looking at this all critical sector.
“We think it’s time we began to look at the rate at which Nigerians are becoming homeless; Nigerians are living in houses that are not conducive for human habitation.”
He noted that the association believes that having a decent accommodation is a right not a privilege. “Accommodation is a right and not a privilege. Everyone should live in a decent accommodation. How can we talk about living in a decent accommodation when an average person living on the minimum wage earns N18, 000 per month.
“How can such a person afford to live in a decent accommodation? Going by that the current situation in our environment, many people will not be able to own a property in their life time neither lives in a decent accommodation, because the so call minimum wage that the government is offering cannot even sustain the feeding need of an average family.”
He further explained that, Article 25, Subsection 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right of the United Nation says, “Everyone has a right to a standard of living, adequate to the health and wellbeing of himself and of his family including school, clothing, housing, medical care and basic social services, and the right to security at the event of unemployment or old age and lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control.
“So everyone, whether working or not has a right to housing that is why government all over the world are coming together to provide what is called Low Cost Houses. In some places, government funds it, in some places it is like a way the mortgage institutions give back to the society. In some places it is the NGOs that who come together to initiate this scheme to the benefit of the larger society.”
On how they would get resources, he said, “Of course we are talking with some international organisations such as the United Nations Habitant, which is the United Nation’s arm that handles housing. For instance, they invited me to two programmes on the 29th of June, one in South Africa and another in Switzerland but I couldn’t make any because of some engagements back home; we had programmes and things we were doing in this regard that warranted me to stay back.
“If the United Nations is giving us the necessary support why not the Nigerian government, why not religious organisations, I must also tell you that we can’t do it alone.”