Apparently disturbed that previous homeownership schemes are not targeted at providing social housing, architects have proposed new innovative concepts to government, which will collectively address affordable and sustainable housing for Nigerians.
The models proposed by the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) for social housing include, development of a contributory scheme that will provide an endless flow of revolving housing finance for low-income earners and the informal sector.
Under the proposal, the body is advocating a property exchange mechanism, where housing is treated as an exchangeable commodity with mobility through the housing types based on income expansion, family size and zoning typologies.
NIA is also promoting a new concept on mass housing with executing template based on the mass production of the components required to build the house rather than looking at the completed whole. “This will create an architectural value chain in the production process and opens access to a vast array of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) funding at single digit interest rates for component fabrication that culminate in housing development,” according to NIA president, Tonye Braide.
Braide, who unveiled the concept during a visit to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola in Abuja, said: “Low cost housing will be executed along the mass production templates used in manufacturing industry. Standardization of components will be key and an operating logistics platform can be developed to distribute the components around a localized area network.
“This will result in architectural component fabrication plants in every Local Government Area (LGA), each council will be producing everything needed to complete a basic house. The basic raw material will be from local elements occurring in great abundance in the LGA. While some of the manufacturing plants may be located at off grid locations and powered with renewable energy, other plants may be manually operated. If each component fabrication cluster employs 100 persons, then about 75,000 new up- stream jobs will be instantly created.”
He said: “Planning of cities have been developed along best practice principles, but the execution process and absence of appropriate governance structures in development control still leaves cities far short of being at par with global competition.
“Architects must be part of the vital professional component in city development control, for our streetscapes must have the right injection of aesthetics and psychological pleasure. Neighbourhoods should be contraptions of beauty to behold,” Braide said.
The architects expressed its readiness to partner with government on massive urban regeneration programmes to recapture the essence of inner city areas and put to good use existing infrastructure.