The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday said the Federal Government had the target of building houses for drivers, market women, farmers, artisans and other individuals in the same income cadre.

According to him, the ministry has met with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on measures to adopt in order to actualise this target, adding that a mortgage scheme that would make repayment possible in 10 to 15 years at a single interest rate was being considered.

Fashola, who spoke during the Affordable Housing Summit in Abuja, also revealed that in 40 years, the Federal Housing Authority was only able to build about 40,000 homes.

“We are targeting to build for people within the income bracket of those in level 10 to 15/16 in the public service, and those in the private sector such as drivers, farmers, market men and women, artisans and so on, who earn this kind of income,” he said.

The minister noted that when he asked some of the ministry’s foreign experts to define affordable housing during the last symposium at the Shelter Afrique Annual General Meeting, the experts came up with two examples.

Fashola stated, “The models include a 47-square-metre two-bedroomed bungalow with external toilets to be shared with others at $5,000 in Haiti (N1.4m at the exchange rate of N280 to $1). Is this what we should do?

“The other example was to prescribe a mortgage of at least 10 to 15 years with single digit interest, and to ensure that the beneficiary must not spend more than 30 per cent of his income on housing, so that he or she can meet other needs of dependants. This makes more sense to me.

“It accords with global best practice; mortgages are the way to go in order to reduce corruption and encourage productivity. Our housing must be tied to our income, which must be tied to our jobs. It is the way to create credit that our housing industry desperately needs.”

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