Leading Advocacy group, Housing Development Advocacy Network has enjoined the Federal and State Governments to stop building housing estates in remote and outskirts of the cities.
In a statement on Monday by its President, Barr Festus Adebayo, the group stated that the goal of affordable housing would be defeated if the houses are situated in places not easily accessible to those they are meant for.
The statement said “We have observed with high level of disappointment that majority of the housing projects in the country by government are located in the outskirt of the city where there are no infrastructures”.
“You can’t say you are helping us to provide affordable housing when you are locating those houses in the outskirt of the city. The people you said you are building for will not go there”.
While stating that location is a key factor in affordable housing delivery, the group averred that transportation will become a great challenge if houses are situated in places that are not easily accessible by the low income earners who are the target of affordable housing.
“If the so called affordable housing are located in the outskirts of the city, where it will require huge amount on daily transportation coupled with problem of insecurity, most of those who want to own the houses will prefer to squat elsewhere”
“By the virtue of the fact that they spend 30% of their salaries on transportation and other infrastructural challenges that they will face, situating those estates in the outskirt of the cities should be halted”.
Delineating on its position, the statement continued that “In UK, the people that live in the city are workers. Those who want to live more comfortable are the ones that live in the outskirt of the city. We have observed with high level of disappointment that majority of the housing projects in the country are located in the outskirt of the city.
“It shows that we have refused to learn any lesson from the failure of the Shagari housing scheme. Some of those houses you are building at the outskirt of the city, by the time they are not completed on time, the thieves will go there as we are having nowadays and they will remove the roof and everything”.
The group questioned that “Who are you building for? Those houses will turn out to be wasted projects”.
The statement also noted that in some of the outskirts where majority of the civil servants are living, there are no good infrastructures. “In Abuja for instance, as at today, the outskirts where majority of the civil servants are living do not have the necessary infrastructures. It is only the government that can provide infrastructures required to deliver affordable housing”.
The advocacy group urged the Federal and State Governments to situate housing projects within the cities so as to achieve the goal of affordable housing.