Over six decades after gaining independence, Nigeria continues to grapple with a severe housing deficit, with the demand for housing consistently surpassing its supply. The nation’s housing shortage is estimated at 28 million units as of 2023, while the population is projected to reach 223.8 million this year, according to the United Nations. Bridging this gap would require an estimated N21 trillion in housing investment.
The level of housing delivery in Nigeria is far below the United Nations’ recommended figure of 10 units per thousand people, with only about two dwelling units provided per 1,000 people. Annual housing production is less than 100,000 units, and home ownership remains below 50 percent.
While the private sector plays a significant role in providing housing, the prices of homes, rent, land, and building materials have continued to rise, making it challenging for many Nigerians to access affordable housing. Several challenges persist in the housing sector, including unresolved tenure arrangements, high material costs, inadequate infrastructure, frequent building collapses, limited access to affordable mortgages, and unfavorable housing finance conditions.
Government initiatives like the National Housing Fund (NHF), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Family Homes Funds (FHF), Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria (AHCN), and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) have not adequately addressed the housing needs of most Nigerians.
Stakeholders in the housing sector emphasize the need for a new and robust housing policy that encourages private sector participation through affordable mortgage arrangements. They also advocate for the use of local building materials and the development of an enabling environment to support the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) market to attract investors and fund the housing and construction sector.
Additionally, addressing infrastructure deficits, simplifying the land title acquisition process, enacting foreclosure laws, and encouraging research into alternative construction methodologies are seen as essential steps to address the housing crisis in Nigeria and provide adequate housing for all segments of the population. Collaboration with professional bodies and research institutes is also recommended to develop efficient and sustainable homegrown solutions for the housing sector.