Enugu State government is developing over 500 housing units for low income earners, especially, civil servants in the state, an official has said.
The Managing Director, Enugu State Housing Development Corporation (ESHDC), Mr Chukwuemelie Agu, disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu while briefing newsmen on efforts to reduce housing deficit in the state.
Agu said that the scheme was in collaboration with mortgage institutions.
He said that about 1,000 off-takers were already involved in the scheme, adding that the houses were being built based on specifications and capabilities of the beneficiaries to pay.
“The plan is for the mortgage banks to fund the projects and in turn allow beneficiaries of the houses a 20-year window to pay back.
“We are in touch with several cooperative societies in state and Federal Government institutions to identify with this scheme,” he said.
Agu said that the corporation was making a deliberate effort to decongest the state capital by extending its network to the outskirts of the state.
The managing director said that the corporation had earlier developed about eight housing estates for high and medium income earners in the state.
“Our target is to reduce the housing deficit in the state by balancing the high and low ends.
“We have been able to do a lot within this period which earned me a Nigerian Housing Awards during the last edition of the Nigerian Housing Show.
“The organisation came to Enugu and saw what we have done in the housing sector and from their assessment they declared us the best,” he said.
Agu said that the corporation was motivated by the influx of people in the state occasioned by the prevailing peace and security which had in turn led to increase in the housing deficit in the state.
He, however, said that it was sad that the private estates were developed at high cost due to exorbitant costs of building materials.
He said that it had become necessary to grant waivers on duties imposed on building materials in order to ensure affordable housing for Nigerians.
Agu also appealed to the government to come up with deliberate policies that would encourage indigenous manufacturers of building materials.
He said that real estate developers react according to the market situation, adding that the prevailing market condition had made the overall cost of houses in the country high.
He said that as a major player in real estate development, the ESHDC reacts to the market just as other real estate operators.
“The prevailing market situation has led to significant increases in the cost of houses because we react to the market the way other real estate operators do.
“We, therefore, appeal to the Federal Government to give waivers on duties imposed on building materials,” he said.
Agu commended the Enugu state governor whom he said had given the corporation the enablement to discharge its duties.