By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos
In an effort to cushion the effects of economic recession in the country, the Lagos State Government on Thursday said it has concluded plans to start allocation of houses under the newly introduced rent-to-own policy.
Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this at a press conference ahead of the launch of the schemes said the Rent-To-Own and Rental Housing Policies of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration is aimed at making housing more readily affordable and accessible for Lagosians.
According to him, the schemes listed for the programme include Sir Michael Otedola Estate, Odoragunshin-Epe; CHOIS City, Agbowa; Alhaji Adetoun Mustapha Estate, Ojokoro and Oba Adeboruwa Estate, Igbogbo-Ikorodu, adding that it will be launched simultaneously on Thursday, December 8, 2016.
Lawal said accessing housing units in the state has been largely on cash and carry basis which ends up excluding majority of the citizenry until when recently the Mortgage Scheme was introduced.
“Even though the Mortgage Scheme was able to accommodate more people on the home ownership ladder, a large number can still not afford to become home owners as they are unable to meet the requirement of 30 per cent equity contribution which the mortgage scheme demands”, he said.
He said Government has always been challenged by the arduous task of providing affordable and decent accommodation for the people of the state in view of its ever growing population which reflected in the various housing schemes developed by different administrations over the years.
He emphasized that shelter is one of the basic needs of man, saying that is why governments all over the world accord top priority to the provision of housing for their citizens.
Lawal said inadequate housing is responsible for so many health and social ills in the society, adding that, “The Rent-to-own policy targets the low and medium income earners in both the formal and informal sectors. Under this arrangement, individuals are required to pay 5 per cent of the value of the housing unit as commitment fee and the balance is spread over 10 years. The programme allows the tenant to live on the property while paying towards ownership as a fixed rent within the period of ten years.
“The Lagos state rental housing policy is to further ensure housing accessibility and affordability in Lagos state. The rent for the rental housing will be collected on a monthly basis. The tenants are however required to pay one month deposit.”
On the criteria for interested applicants, Lawal said they must be primarily resident in Lagos State and will be required to submit a copy of their Lagos State Residents Registration (LASSRA) Card and must be a first time home buyer, which must be 21 years old and above.
He also said that applicants must be tax compliant and provide the proof of tax payment and must have capacity to pay the 5 per cent commitment fee.
He explained that the rent to be paid will be determined by the prevailing rent in each of the locations while mode of payment will be direct debit by the employer/banker to ensure easy collection, just as he stressed that the rented accommodation is not transferable.
This scheme is targeted at the working class and people with regular source of income who may not want to participate in the rent-to-own or mortgage program. “Government intends to earmark 20 per cent of the available housing units in each of the dedicated rent-to-own estates for rental housing.”
LASG begins rent-to-own housing scheme next week
By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos