A new scheme targeted at providing improved access to housing finance to aspiring homeowners has been unveiled by stakeholders in the industry, Punch newspaper reports.
The scheme, known as My Own Home and domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, is also expected to among other things provide awareness, education and practical tips to assist prospective homeowners in need of long-term housing finance.
The public-private partnership scheme, according to the stakeholders, has the support of the World Bank, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, as well as primary mortgage banks through equity stake taken in the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.
At the launch of the scheme in Lagos, recently, the CBN’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Consultant on the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme, Mrs Adenike Fasanya-Osilaja, stated that the initiative would provide mortgages, mortgage guarantee and insurance as well as housing micro finance to every Nigerian in need of a home.
She said the NMRC had already started addressing housing finance issues by refinancing long-term mortgages, which was a major problem for the primary mortgage market in the country.
“Every Nigerian has a right to own a home through a mortgage. There seems to be a fear of taking mortgages but this programme seeks to dispel the style of building block by block. Nigerians should go to their banks and ask questions because this is a scheme to help every Nigerian who needs a home,” Fasanya-Osilaja said.
According to her, the initiative will provide housing finance to Nigerians who are up to the age of 21 and meet the borrowing requirements of a mortgage originating bank or a housing microfinance bank.
She said it would also provide mortgage literacy and education, the occupation or literacy level of an aspiring homeowner notwithstanding, and however noted that the scheme would not provide ready-made houses but was designed to jumpstart the housing finance market.
“Once it starts, the banks will take over to give loans, which will help aspiring homeowners. All they need to do is ask participating mortgage originating banks or housing finance institutions for requirements to participate,” she added.
According to her, the programme is not run by the government and will not be affected by any change in leadership.
She said, “It is an industry-driven programme and the industry will remain the same irrespective of government and political parties in power. The scheme does not have its base in social housing and so sustainability is assured; it does not discriminate on the basis of income.
“If you are able to pay your rent, then, you can subscribe to the scheme. It is a paradigm shift for home ownership in Nigeria and we will spread the initiative to all parts of the country.”
The scheme, she stated, would have a tenor of 15 years to 25 years, depending on the age of the borrower, their income and desired tenor and would be available to eligible applicants with insufficient or no equity contribution.