Following the rise in the cost of building materials, poverty, increasing population, high rate of urbanization and the lack of a functioning mortgage system, Nigeria’s housing deficit is estimated to have hit over 22 million units.
To contribute its quota in bridging the housing gap in Africa’s most populous nation, Relive Housing in partnership with Homework Development (HWD) Group and other industry players recently unveiled Cornerstone Height, a real estate project that is geared towards providing affordable housing for early-career professionals and first-time home-owners.
Cornerstone Heights estate is a 56-unit 2-bedroom apartment championed. The estate sits on about 4,000 square meters of land size and will be built as a community that is big on sustainability where people can shop, live, work and play.
“We are here to solve a part of the housing deficit; our big goal is ten thousand units in 5 years but our vision is to do a million housing units within Sub Saharan Africa. Our target is to cater for first-time home buyers and investors,” Mojisola Afolayan, the developer behind Cornerstone Heights said at the groundbreaking of the project.
“Cornerstone Height is the brainchild of Moji Afolayan, a real estate developer; we are architects and real estate developers. We did the designs and we are co-developing with her company. We are targeting early-career individuals and first-time home-owners, people that want their starter homes, also people that want investment income. So this is basically a collaboration between our firms,” Chima Emerueh, the Director, HWD said.
Explaining about the funding of the real estate project, Afolayan said capital-intensive real estate development is funded by collaborative efforts of members of CDRE and the expertise of Homework Development Group.
According to her, the cost of land is not cheap and this is an acre of land that cost about N120 million. “You must have assumed how Moji raised this fund? That’s where collaboration came in. I own an investment club called chicks doing real estate (CDRE) focused on encouraging women to invest but I decided to call it Chicks Doing Real Estate because our investments fund our lifestyle.”
“Before now as an estate surveyor and valuer, all we did was to help people find houses to rent and to buy but of course, we have gotten to a stage where we need to do more in terms of creating value. People paid for us to collectively buy this land; so, it is a collaboration from CDRE and industry experts,” Afolayan said, adding that the industry players are taking it a step further to help more people climb the property ladder.
According to the industry players that have joined forces to develop Cornerstone Heights, Lagos State, for instance, is lacking the cross-industry collaboration essential to provide decent and quality housing
“The problem is that a lot of people want to do things themselves and there is no in-depth thought about what can be achieved when you collaborate with other professionals. If you are looking at X number of units, collaboration takes you 10X. If you are doing bigger projects, look for a construction company that does projects and does it well, if it is your first time going several heights up, use a construction company that has done it before that you can see the track record and just be under that. If you are a salesman, be the salesman for the project while you allow others to do what they are doing. By the time you collaborate like that, people will know all of you for those massive projects,” Jide Akintola, Director, Homework Development said during the ground-breaking ceremony of Cornerstone Heights Estate in Ogombo town.
Emphasizing the importance of teamwork in the real estate industry, Aderinsola Fagbure, Principal Partner in Black&White LP said “Cornerstone Heights is a physical demonstration of tenacity and the advantages of having numbers. When good people with good intentions and integrity put their heads together for a project, you will come out with a laudable result.”