Nigeria: Architects Target 300 Units in New Homes Scheme

Efforts at reducing the housing deficits in Lagos received a boost last week, as Lagos chapter of Nigerian Institute of Architect (NIA) jump-started an initiative that would provide 300 units of affordable homes in the state. The project to be located at Epe, Iyana-Ipaja or Ikorodu is in partnership with Sterling Alternate. It targets the low-income and middle-income earners as well as tends to build an utopian community for residents.

NIA chairman, Lagos chapter, Mr. Fitzergerald Umah said the design made up of one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, four bedroom, was chosen from selected winners from a bootcamp organised by Sterling Bank Plc. The bootcamp, held last week had 10 participants, who worked in three designs namely, Ileeeko, Youtopia and Iletiwawa.

Already, the institute is engaging new Lagos government for land , while wining design was presented to the Managing Director of the bank, Mr Abubakar Suleiman for its take-off. Umah, said for the house to be affordable, the land too must be affordable. The units will go between N1.5- N3 million per unit for Studio, while three bedroom goes for between N7 million to N10 million.He commended the participants for their efforts and how their entries with unique features could help in solving the housing issue.

He said; "We are developing a central community that would have an interesting layout from a bird's eye view that would unite all classes of people with shared spaces such as community centre, shopping mall, recreational spaces, schools, playgrounds, church, mosque, Healthcare centres, bicycle transport system and football arenas."

He stressed that the design consider a good layout with exciting view from the top, infrastructure such as the road sizes, bicycle, drainage, sewage systems, electricity, water provision, and fire station,, tropical friendly and eco-friendly environment.

It also has structural innovations with the use of wood and beam and structural elements to reduce the use of steel as much as possible and building materials that would be 70-80 per locally sourced.Mrs. Medinat Kareem' of Sterling Alternative Finance said the project meant a lot to the company and assured of the bank's readiness to support the programme .

Speaking at the bootcamp, Mr. Kunle Adedeji stressed that solving the housing challenge need professionals to think outside the box and yet within the confines of an affordable solution. The Managing Director of the Bank, expressed optimism with the designs and pledged total support to the project.

Speaking on the project, a participant and HND II architecture student of Yaba College of Technology, Yusuff Olamilekan, expressed happiness with the experience in developing an affordable housing design for Lagosians. According to him, the boot camp gave him an opportunity to network with different people from different background architectural background basically from different schools and associate to explore architectural regeneration of Lagos.

He noted that the programme is a means of solving the housing deficits in Lagos. "We are looing at most visible solutions that address affordable housing in the state."He said they will tried to incorporate locally sourced materials like bamboos, and the wood which is readily available. "We don't want to go to steel and glass , it is quite in the high end, we try to speak to Lagos as it is using what we have," he said.

Another participant, Abang Effiong , who graduated from Covenant University, but works at SkyPhis, Egbeda, said the design focused on flexibility and adaptability.Also, Babalola Tobiloba, who graduated from Bells University and works at Anector Associate, Ikeja, described the bootcamp as a wonderful experience as it help the participants to combine idea that could bring a collective solution to the housing needs of Lagosians.

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