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LAGOS MEGA CITY PROJECT: HOMS to drive Urban Regeneration

In addition to its infrastructure upgrade and environmental transformation, the Lagos State government is using its pace-setting home ownership mortgage scheme—the LagosHOMS—to drive urban regeneration that would ultimately dovetail into its dream mega city status.

This regeneration which has already seen some footprints in some parts of the state, particularly Ikeja and Lagos Island, involves the demolition of obsolete housing estates and their reconstruction into contemporary lifestyle communities.

“The new move already executed in Shogunro, Ikeja and underway in Adeniji Adele on Lagos Island will see some old unhabitable residential estates within the metropolis and even suburbs demolished to give way to modern upscale estates”, Babatunde Fashola, the state governor, says.

The LagosHOMS has in the past five months produced close to 300 homeowners and has in its stock over 1,000 housing units, some completed while others are still at various stages of completion in various parts of the state.

Governor Fashola at the sixth draw of the Lagos HOMS scheme which produced 48 new home-owners, explained that the new responsibility for the scheme was part of the changes meant to ensure that the scheme accommodated all segments of the society.

Consistent with the urban regeneration drive, 16 senior citizens of the state who lost their homes to the demolition of the old Shogunro Housing Estate were relocated to new apartments in the newly built Shogunro scheme and keys to their apartments were presented to them at the recent draw.

After presenting the keys to these senior citizens, Fashola announced that the state government had also commenced the regeneration of Adeniji Adele where 30 affected families have been evacuated, adding that 16 of them would be offered new units when the proposed estate was delivered.

“We have moved out 30 families in Adeniji Adele and offered to take them back when we rebuild the estate, though 14 of those families have preferred to be paid off; we will offer the remaining 16 new units once we deliver the estate,” the governor assured.

Bayo Forsy the, the executive secretary, Lagos Mortgage Board, assured of the Fashola adminstration’s commitment to extending the state’s regeneration agenda to every nook and cranny of the state.

“We will keep seeking for areas that are in urgent need of regeneration and that will influence our decision on where next to head after Adeniji Adele,” he said.

Fashola disclosed further that the state was considering an all-inclusive method of deepening the success of the mortgage scheme by ensuring that even the lowest class of people in society become beneficiaries of the scheme.

“We are working at the ‘rent-to-own approach’ which will allow every member of the society such as transporters, civil servants and artisans benefit from the scheme,” he said, explaining that with the new initiative still in the pipeline, home winners would pay rent for about five years part of which would be savedtowards their mortgage after which they are invited to take an offer to buy the apartments, having saved the 30 percent equity contribution.

He also assured that construction would remain upbeat in 23 sites, hoping that as the scheme continues to evolve, the state will continue to employ measures to soften the mortgage process in a bid to avoid any form of discrimination in its quest to give residents affordable homes.

Article Credit: Businessdayonline

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