Lagos rent-to-own scheme fails to attract home seekers
The rent-to-own home ownership scheme of the Lagos State government seems not to be attracting many first-time home seekers despite the state’s huge housing deficit of nearly 3 million.
Checks by BusinessDay show that with the recent handing over keys to another set of 150 winners in the scheme, only about 650 out of over 5,000 housing units in 12 different housing estates that the government has put on offer since December 2016 have been sold.
The poor uptake of the houses is also in spite of the fact that the scheme is an improvement on the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMs).
Under this scheme, only 5 per cent deposit is required from an allotee, while the balance is spread over a 10-year period unlike the LagosHOMS which required allotees to make 30 per cent equity contribution on property allocated to them before taking delivery of same.
But Gbolahan Lawal, the state commissioner for housing, says 650 units translates to 3,000 beneficiaries going by an average of five persons per family.
Dehinde Tunwashe, the general manager, Lagos State Mortgage Board, explained that all the allocations so far had been carried out in a “fair and just” manner, and appealed to the allottees to promptly pay their monthly rent so as to offset the 95 percent balance over the stipulated 10 years period.
The policy was launched by the state government in December 2016 targeted at first-time home seekers who must be residents of Lagos, and an adult, 18 years and above. Other conditions an applicant must fulfill to qualify for the policy include full tax compliant.
Josiah Atilade, a resident of Egbeda in Alimosho local government area of the state, who spoke with BusinessDay, said his major challenge with the policy is the condition that requires an applicant not put more than 30 percent of his income into the payment of the monthly rent.
I have tried to key into the policy but it’s not quite easy. I have a family of five, and the least I should go for is a three-bedroom flat. Currently the price of three-bedroom unit at the Igando Housin Estate, where I am interested in, is N12 million. My income can’t cope,” said Atilade.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode launched the rent-to-own housing policy in December 2016 to give easy access to first-time home seekers.
Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Idiat Adebule, at the flag-off of policy Sir Michael Otedola Estate, Odoragunshin, Epe, said that the policy was part of his administration’s strategies to deliver decent and affordable housing to citizens.
“The rent-to-own and rental housing policy which is being launched today is a milestone in public housing delivery in the state to make life more comfortable and easier for our people.
“I urge Lagosians to take part in the process and I assure you that the selection process will be credible, fair and transparent.”
The state commissioner for housing, Gbolahan Lawal had during the launch also said that the administration came up with the housing policy to increase the number of residents on home ownership ladder.
He said 12 housing estates spread across the three senatorial districts were dedicated to the implementation of the policy.
“The rent-to-own policy targets the low and medium income earners in both the formal and informal sectors where individuals are required to pay five per cent of the value of the housing unit as commitment fee and spread the balance over 10 years.
“This programme allows the tenant to live on the property while paying towards ownership at a fixed rent within the period of 10 years,” said Lawal.
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