The Managing Director, MIXTA Nigeria, Mr. Kola Ashiru-Balogun, has said that stakeholders in the real estate industry must invest more in affordable homes to bridge the country’s deficit in housing.

Ashiru-Balogun, while speaking on the firm’s projects towards providing affordable housing, said the country had barely scratched the surface of such development.

“What we have done as a company is to re-strategise and focus our business on affordable housing. It is very easy for everyone to go into the need market where there are a lot of opportunities but you have to be able to develop to meet the need in that market,” he said.

According to him, Mixta Nigeria formerly known as ARM Properties rebranded in 2015 as a strategic move towards providing affordable homes for Nigerians.

He said the challenges in the Nigerian real estate market could only be addressed through affordable housing and government’s investment in social housing, adding that the firm was working with the Federal Government to provide housing units in parts of the country.

Ashiru-Balogun said, “There are challenges in the Nigerian market, and we have been advising the Federal Government to come up with social housing. For private developers, anything less than N15m is what is called affordable housing. Anything below that is social housing, which we are working with the Federal Government to provide.

“It is very difficult for any developer to develop and sell any home beyond N2.5m to N3m in Nigeria. And when we say a home, it has to be a decent house with infrastructure. Anything below this is what is called social housing and the government has to subsidise that sector. Based on this, we have been actively working with the government to roll out some affordable housing through cheaper mortgages but that will not stop us from doing what we are doing.”

He also said the firm recently rolled out three new projects including Fara Park II with 186 housing units, in line with its affordable housing vision, adding that the company hoped to deliver 200 units in one of its estates within this year.

He said the firm planned to extend its affordable housing to Port Harcourt where it recently acquired 250 hectares of land, with a portion for a golf course and another for affordable housing with shared infrastructure.

“We are in Port Harcourt and the plan is to expand the affordable housing into that market. We are also planning to go into the Federal Capital Territory. Based on opportunities, we may go into second tier cities. People do need these affordable housing types,” he said.

By Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

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