MINISTER DANGIWA ADDRESSES HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS AT MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE DURING SHAFDB AGM IN KIGALI

Nigeria’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, has spotlighted the severe housing affordability crisis impacting over 80% of Africa's population.

He attributed the crisis to a combination of low incomes, challenging macroeconomic conditions, and rising living costs.

Speaking at the Ministerial Roundtable on "Innovative Financing for Housing Affordability," during the Shelter Afrique Development Bank (SHAFDB) Annual General Meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, Minister Dangiwa stressed that housing affordability is a dynamic and increasingly challenging target, complicating efforts to achieve the 'housing for all' goal.

"With each passing year, the affordability bar keeps getting higher," Dangiwa remarked, underscoring the urgent need for innovative and affordable housing solutions.

Drawing from his experience as the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Dangiwa highlighted the difficulties in maintaining housing affordability amidst rising building material costs, which have substantially driven up the price of housing units.

To combat this crisis, Dangiwa proposed a multi-faceted strategy focused on innovative financing and collaborative efforts. Key initiatives include:

• Interest-Free Budgetary Allocations: Utilizing budgetary allocations for housing without interest to reduce costs.

• Sub-National Government Partnerships: Partnering with state governments to provide land free-of-charge, thereby cutting the overall cost of housing units by up to 40%.

• Public-Private Partnerships (PPP): Facilitating collaborations with developers under the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Programme to deliver affordable housing units, with some sold at subsidized rates.

• Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): Collaborating with various agencies to create a N1 trillion concessional financing window to provide low-cost funds for developers, aiming to expand the scale of housing delivery.

Minister Dangiwa emphasized the need for new financial instruments and mechanisms tailored to Africa's unique contexts, such as microfinance, mortgage-backed securities, and digital financial services.

"Traditional financing models have served us to a point. To bridge the housing deficit, we must explore and embrace new financial instruments and mechanisms," he asserted.

He also highlighted the significance of the Shelter Afrique Housing Solutions Fund, a 100 billion Naira real estate investment trust aimed at catalyzing investments in affordable housing through innovative market-based solutions.

Concluding his remarks, Minister Dangiwa called for collective action among all stakeholders, including governments, financial institutions, developers, community organizations, and international partners.

"Our goal should be to create a housing finance ecosystem that leaves no one behind," he said. "Let us challenge conventional wisdom, explore uncharted territories, and forge new pathways to make affordable housing a reality for all Africans."