Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Article: Nigeria at 53, still dealing with Homelessness!!!

Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling.

Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension, it provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing.

Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.

All forms of homelessness began to rise in 2010. However, it is likely that homelessness will increase yet further, as the delayed effects of the economic downturn, cuts to housing benefit and other reforms all start to bite.

The consequences can be brutal. Homelessness damages people's capability through loss of skills, through an inability to think about employment whilst worrying about housing, and through their health becoming impaired whilst homeless. Homelessness also damages people's resilience, self-esteem and self-confidence.

In nigeria, the causes of homelessness ranges from family problems, mental issues, emotional issue. There are also problems in wider society that can contribute towards homelessness. These structural causes might include a lack of affordable housing; high levels of poverty, unemployment or worklessness; the way in which the benefits system operates; or the way social housing is rationed.

Inadequate infrastructure, poor housing quality and poor implementation strategy has been described as the bane of housing in Nigeria with 60% of the population homeless.

When talking about mass housing, you must be looking at affordable housing. And for you to have affordable housing, there are some people who are the vulnerable group.

We must look at the Land Use Act, it is something that must be amended to make access to land more friendly. More importantly, government should come up with schemes that will meet the needs of the low-income earners. Everything should not just be for high income

Mortgage scheme is completely dead in Nigeria. If people can have access to the funds through the Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), we will have affordable housing, even if it is N3 million.

Cement occupies about 50 per cent of the total material content of any building particularly because Nigerian system of construction is cement- driven which means that a lot of developers rely on cement. It makes it an important material input for construction. The price of Cement should be subsidised.

Government should provide incentives for the local producers of cement such that they can at least stabilise in their production.
These are people who are battling with so many issues – issues of power, tax and all that and you are now saying that those who are bringing in the product as a way of subsidising and complementing what is produced internally, should be shut out.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

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