I’m very passionate about housing, moreso, affordable housing. I’ve probably said this more times than one, but, bear with me. I, personally believe that affordable housing has the potential to be not only a force for social change but also economically viable as a business.
I’m of the paradigm that density drives the profitability of affordable housing even though that would depend on a number of factors from design to materials but I digress. My confidence that affordable housing has great potential was further boosted when I got the following video in my inbox some days ago. Its an episode of a TV Series produced by Regency foundation networxcalled ITS AFRICA’S TIME.
IT’S AFRICA’S TIME is a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Regency Foundation Networx (RFN) to promote and encourage the adoption of the ‘inclusive business’ model as a component of corporate growth strategy in Africa, and to demonstrate how this approach can make a contribution towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On this episode, the ITS AFRICA’S TIME team travelled to Nigeria to cover the work the Inclusive Business Action Network (IBAN) is doing. IBAN is a global multi-stakeholder network unlocking the power of inclusive business. Their initiative -MY HOME, YOUR BUSINESS, recently held an Affordable Housing Sector Dialogue with a range of industry players seeking to promote partnerships in the largely untapped BOP or lower income market. This income level represents a larger percentage of Nigeria’s housing deficit which currently sits at 16 million homes.
One of the most prominent players in this space would be the Millard Fuller Foundation directed in-country by Sam Odia. Through their Fuller Center for Housing, they’ve put up about 200 units of low income housing in Northern Nigeria that is lifting people out of squalor into a more dignified standard of living. Their incremental model for affordable housing is akin to that of the Chilean Architectural firm, Elemental but, more in the economic and socio-cultural context of Nigeria. This episode highlights the work Mr.Odia and his wife (an architect) Mrs.Funmi Odia are doing through the Millard Fuller Foundation as well as the lives their touching in the process.