- What Every Lagosian Should Know
After about eighteen months in office, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has announced in definite terms his housing policy for Lagosians. In what is a total departure from what obtained under the administration of the immediate predecessor where the state home ownership scheme was based on a mortgage arrangement under the Lagos Housing Mortgage Scheme (LAGOS HOMS) where monthly draws were held to announce selected and prequalified persons, Governor Ambode’s Scheme follows a pattern that looks more liberal and easy to access. Here is a breakdown of all you need to know about the new Lagos State Housing Policy.
In an effort to cushion the effects of economic recession in the country, the Lagos State Government on Thursday said it has concluded plans to start allocation of houses under the newly introduced rent-to-own policy.
Before the formal launching of the scheme on Thursday, December 8, 2016 by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the State’s Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, during a press conference at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, had explained in details what the policy entails, saying the Rent-To-Own and Rental Housing Policies of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration is aimed at making housing more readily affordable and accessible for Lagosians.
According to him, the schemes listed for the programme include Sir Michael Otedola Estate in Odoragunshin-Epe; CHOIS City in Agbowa-Ikorodu; Alhaji Adetoun Mustapha Estate in Ijaiye-Ojokoro and Oba Adeboruwa Estate in Igbogbo-Ikorodu. Lawal said accessing housing units in the state has been largely on cash and carry basis which ends up excluding majority of the citizenry until when recently the Mortgage Scheme was introduced. “Even though the Mortgage Scheme was able to accommodate more people on the home ownership ladder, a large number can still not afford to become home owners as they are unable to meet the requirement of 30 per cent equity contribution which the mortgage scheme demands”, he said.
He said Government has always been challenged by the arduous task of providing affordable and decent accommodation for the people of the state in view of its ever growing population which reflected in the various housing schemes developed by different administrations over the years.
He emphasized that shelter is one of the basic needs of man, saying that is why governments all over the world accord top priority to the provision of housing for their citizens.
Lawal said inadequate housing is responsible for so many health and social ills in the society, adding that, “The Rent-to-own policy targets the low and medium income earners in both the formal and informal sectors. Under this arrangement, individuals are required to pay 5 per cent of the value of the housing unit as commitment fee and the balance is spread over 10 years. The programme allows the tenant to live on the property while paying towards ownership as a fixed rent within the period of ten years.
“The Lagos state rental housing policy is to further ensure housing accessibility and affordability in Lagos State. The rent for the rental housing will be collected on a monthly basis. The tenants are however required to pay one month deposit.”
CRITERIA FOR THE RENT-TO-OWN HOUSING POLICY
On the criteria for interested applicants, Lawal said they must be primarily resident in Lagos State and will be required to submit a copy of their Lagos State Residents Registration (LASSRA) Card and must be a first time home buyer, which must be 21 years old and above. He also said that applicants must be tax compliant and provide the proof of tax payment and must have capacity to pay the 5 per cent commitment fee.
He explained that the rent to be paid will be determined by the prevailing rent in each of the locations while mode of payment will be direct debit by the employer/banker to ensure easy collection, just as he stressed that the rented accommodation is not transferable.
This scheme is targeted at the working class and people with regular source of income who may not want to participate in the rent-to-own or mortgage program. “Government intends to earmark 20 per cent of the available housing units in each of the dedicated rent-to-own estates for rental housing.”
HOUSES PRICES SLASHED
It will be recalled that sometime in November this year, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had announced that due to the economic downturn, price of houses under the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, Lagos HOMS has been slashed in a bid to allow residents apply for the scheme specifically when the rent-to-own scheme commenced in December 9.
With the reduction, two-bedroom flat, which was N7.2 million has been reduced to N3.5 million, while the one bedroom was reduced to N2.3 million as against the initial price of N5.5million. Also, the room and parlour unit has also been reduced to N1.5 million from the initial N3.5million. Ambode, who announced the review in prices while inspecting Sir Micheal Otedeola Housing Estate in Odoragunshin, Epe and other ongoing construction within the axis, added that over 1, 000 additional housing units have been injected into the pool of housing units earlier provided by the state government. He explained that due to economic recession, his administration felt the need to review the housing policies, saying it was the reason for the new policies which we aimed to ensure that housing is affordable to Lagosians.