Affordable Housing is a topic that continues to draw my interest and passion. Shelter is both a basic human right, and a necessity in Nigeria and the idea of affordable housing to cater to this need is practical and viable but the road to achieving it is fraught with a plethora of challenges.
Researcher, writer and filmmaker, Oluwatosin Bamidele, offers her insight on how to increase affordable housing in Lagos, citing the high cost of building materials as one of the major challenges for developers seeking to build. She writes:
Housing is one of the basic needs of man because of his desire for security, privacy and protection from negative impacts of the environment. In the social life of every Nigerian, the ability to own a home boosts one’s status in society. Housing plays a vital part in improving human health, as well social and economic welfare of the society. However, despite the efforts made by the government to tackle the issue of housing availability, the cost of building in Nigeria keeps rising. This is as a result of several factors, especially the high cost of building materials. The low and middle income earners, are the most affected by the high cost of construction in Nigeria. Due to affordability they live in densely populated or informal ‘slum’ areas. The high income earners, 1% of the population, occupy a small percentage of the housing stock. Therefore, the majority of newly built homes in city centres are left unoccupied.