Years after been put in the market for outright sale or rental, the Lagos Homes Ownership Scheme (LagosHOMS), has remained unattractive to home seekers, as over 3000 units are still unsubscribed.
The seeming lack of interest in the state-owned housing schemes is despite the fact that Lagos, Nigeria’s largest state by population (estimated 21 million people) is has a huge housing gap.
A report by Pison Housing Company actually estimates Lagos’ housing deficit at three million, requiring about 200,000 units built every year over the next 20 years to bridge.
Information at BusinessDay’s disposal shows that hundreds of housing units in various estates developed by the government and scattered across the state since the previous administration, are still largely vacant. They include those at Igando, Sangotedo, Agbowa in Epe, Egan, in Alimosho, Surulere, Amuwo-Odofin, among others.
A source informed that home seekers are not attracted to the houses due to a number of factors, including cost, in-built charges, bureaucratic bottlenecks, and administrative procedure to acquiring them.
Some of the eligibility criteria for the LagosHOMS are that an applicant must be a first time buyer, 21 years and above, tax compliant with proof of regular payment, five per cent payment, must pass the affordability test and not more than, 33 per cent of the monthly income as repayment.
Checks show reveal that a total of 360 units in Igbogbo, 660 units in Agbowa, 84 units in Amuwo-Odofin, 492 units in Igando, 630 units Egan and 1118 units in Sangotedo housing estates are lying waste, even as several hundred units across already subscribed to by home seekers have not been made habitable to enable their buyers move in.
The situation is said to be more pathetic in the Igando housing scheme, where interior fittings in several of the units have been allegedly vandalised and would require millions of naira to put back to habitable form.
Gbolahan Lawal, the state commissioner for housing, who confirmed the availability of 3000 units of houses not sold, however said those already subscribed would be made ready for their owners three to six months from now.
“In all, we are looking at about 3000 units unsubscribed. It’s just the sewage and water that is delaying it. I want to say that those people that applied, in the next three to six months, they would be living in their houses,” Lawal said.
Meanwhile, the outgoing governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has said the incoming administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu would complete the housing estates.
Ambode, who gave the assurance when he inspected the Igando Lagos HOMS project, after he commissioned the Igando Lagos Theatre, on Wednesday, said the 492-unit scheme was in its final stages of completion and would be commissioned Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“We are at the Lagos HOMS here in Igando where we have 492 units completed. What is left in this particular estate is the sewage system and I believe strongly that as we leave, this particular project in the next few months, the whole place should be completed and should be ready for occupants and commissioning by the incoming governor,” said Ambode.