• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Noblegrounds premieres 20-hectare affordable housing project, targets community living

Noblegrounds premieres 20-hectare affordable housing project, targets community living

Noblegrounds Company Limited, a frontline real estate development company, at the weekend, unveiled its 20-hectare affordable housing project that targets community living. The project is the company’s response to housing which has been recognised as a significant part of man’s social needs.

Access to decent housing has also been recognised as a fundamental human right and is essential for the full enjoyment of other economic, social, and cultural rights.

But, in Nigeria, housing deficit continues to widen. According to the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), housing deficit in Nigeria has surged from 14 million units in 2010 to a staggering 28 million units in 2022, marking a 100 percent increase over the past 1.2 decades.

Access to housing in the country continues to be a significant challenge due to an inefficient mortgage system, a growing population, inflation, declining incomes, and poverty, among other factors.

Data from the Central Bank reveals that a mere 10 percent of Nigerians who wish to own homes can afford them, highlighting the severity of the problem.

At the premiere of the project known as Pleasant Hills Estate, Olajide Dosunmu, CEO of Noble Grounds, said the project aims to bridge the gap by providing 500 affordable homes.

According to the CEO, a plot of land at the new development project along Otere Apena Road, opposite Christopher University on the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, is priced between N8 million and N12 million.

“This is more than just a collection of houses; it’s a community designed to foster growth, well-being, and stability. We believe that everyone deserves a place they can proudly call home, and we are committed to making that a reality,” he said.

Noble Grounds’ Pleasant Hills Estate is a 20-hectare residential community project, envisioned to host approximately 500 homes upon completion. It is designed to harmonise residential, commercial, public, and recreational spaces.

“With lush greenery interspersed throughout, residents can enjoy a balanced lifestyle. The estate boasts paved roads, underground stormwater drainage, electrification, and perimeter fencing,” the company said.

Data gleaned from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that inflation is one of the factors affecting affordable housing in Nigeria.

According to the NBS, Nigeria’s inflation rate escalated to 33.69 percent in April 2024, a slight uptick from 33.20 percent in March, primarily fueled by rising food, housing, and energy costs. The headline inflation rate was 11.47 percent points higher compared to the rate recorded in April 2023, which was 22.22 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Dosunmu said: “The rising cost of building materials like cement, binding wires, wood, stone, steel, etc., has gone up in the last four years. For example, we used to get a bag of cement for N3,000 but now it is as high as N8,000.

“We need the government to come in and subsidise these materials so we can achieve our collective goals of bridging the gap in housing supply in the country.”

Talking about the home part of the project, the company confirmed that it has commenced. “This initial phase will include up to 50 numbers of three-bedroom bungalows and five-bedroom detached duplexes. Additionally, we will develop the necessary support infrastructure to ensure a livable environment.”

The three-bedroom bungalows are priced at N35.8 million for the shell type and N49.8 million for the completely finished option. Meanwhile, the five-bedroom detached duplexes are priced at N64.9 million for the shell type and N88.5 million for the completely finished option.

According to Dosunmu, the shell option means the completion of most parts of the building would be handled by the company except the interiors. “Some customers might have a different interior taste, so we’ve made that option available for them.”

“A 5 – 30 percent down payment is required to get any of our home or a landed property while balance payment is spread within 1 – 3 years or up to 10 years with a mortgage,” the CEO said on the payment plan.

Meanwhile, Shola Adio-Moses, branch manager of Wema Bank, Opebi, Lagos, said inflation is the major challenge of mortgages in Nigeria. According to her, in Nigeria, mortgage banks operate a commercial mortgage system, making it complicated to run smoothly.

The branch manager also urged the employers to educate their employees to take advantage of the National Housing Fund (NHF).

The NHF is a Federal Government scheme, which entitles all Nigerians above the age of 21 years in paid employment to a low-interest contributory scheme. Members of the scheme contribute 2.5 percent of their monthly salary to the fund through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

The maximum amount obtainable under the NHF used to be N5 million but has since been increased to N15 million. The borrowed capital is repayable over a maximum of 30 years at the rate of 6 percent interest.