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Housing Deficit: Stakeholders canvass partnership with co-operatives

Stakeholders in the real estate sector have called for the involvement of co-operative society in bridging the huge housing deficit in Nigeria.

This participation, the stakeholders believe, will bridge the continued shortage of affordable housing in the country, which has remained a sore point for experts and other stakeholders in the built environment.

Managing Director, M.I. Okoro and Associates, Mr. Meckson Okoro, lamented why in a nation of over 180 million people, less than 20 per cent of them can boast of owning their houses.

He said, “How many people know about cooperative societies as the vehicle to own their houses? Not many really, and even if they knew, ignorance will not allow them to take action. Therefore, the only way forward to owning your houses today since there are not solid mortgage institution to finance real estate is for people to join real estate cooperatives with a bid to secure their ambition of owning properties.

“There is absence of mortgage system in Nigeria and the few ones existing have no financial muscle to finance real estate development because of the huge capital requirement of this form of investment. Commercial banks have limited capital to lend for real estate development. Where they have such fund to lend, it will be for a very high interest rate.”

He, therefore urged prospective home owners to take advantage of platforms like real estate cooperative society to enhance their operations and remain competitive.

On his part, Perfection Real Estate Investors Cooperative Society Limited President, Mr. Niyi Adeleye, noted that the economic situation and some policies of the government depleted purchasing power in real estate.

He said only about two per cent of Nigerians were investing in real estate, a situation he described as worrisome. “This also means that even when we talk about home ownership for the Nigerian, we are still very far behind,” he said.

BABAJIDE OKEOWO

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