Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has urged President Bola Tinubu-administration and stakeholders in the housing sector to focus on a rent-to-own scheme to reduce the number of homeless people in the country.
The theme of the event titled, “The future of housing in Nigeria and 50 years of FHA: A call to action for political leaders and policymakers from decent and affordable housing.”
The former minister stated that the majority of Nigerians cannot afford to own houses as a result of financial challenges, adding that it is pertinent for the Federal and state governments to expand their rent-to-own policies.
Homelessness is the most undignifying experience for a human being and must be confronted with the necessary resolve by political leaders and policymakers,” Fashola said.
“The sad but painful truth is that not everybody will be able to afford to buy a house; but I strongly believe that rental housing for all is possible, not only based on how we build but also how people pay rent.
“Therefore, our housing policy must focus on rental as it focuses on ownership. Consequently, rent-to-own initiatives that started in the last administration must not be allowed to die.”
According to the former Lagos governor, lawmakers at both federal and state levels should enact laws that allow citizens to acquire government-built homes with convenient payment plans from their wages and salaries.
“Instead, there is scope in my view for improvement in expanding rent-to-own schemes at Federal and State levels, and also increasing advocacy for state legislators to make laws that make the payment of rent convenient and convergent with wages and salaries,” he said.
He emphasised the need for the country’s housing policy to channel resources into achieving rental housing for people and the FHA must be conscious of this, adding that the 50th anniversary celebration delivers new mechanisms of home ownership