Hope of owning a cheap house in Lagos was yesterday dashed, when the state Governor Babatunde Fashola said he did not at any time promise to provide low-cost housing for residents of the state.
Fashola spoke in Ikeja, during the monthly draw for the allocation of homes to residents under the state’s Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS).
He said criticisms that homes under the state’s mortgage scheme were not low-cost were unfair, adding they aimed at discrediting the good intentions of the state government.
Fashola explained that what he had always promised was the provision of affordable housing, for which home-seekers could pay conveniently over a period of time.
“Some people have criticized us that homes under our mortgage scheme are not low-cost, but these people cannot point to one place where our government promised to build low-cost houses.
“We didn’t promise low-cost housing; what we promised was affordable housing, and so people should not accuse of not doing what we did not promise.
“As I said, and I have always reiterated, from when I was a candidate in 2007, my commitment to the people of Lagos was on affordable housing and that is what we are delivering ’’he said.
Fashola added he could not have promised low-cost housing when there was no low-cost land, low –cost labour and building materials and when the exchange rate was high.
According to him, the state`s mortgage scheme is already a success story as 200 homes in estates across the states, are allocated monthly to successful applicants.
Fashola urged allotees to help strengthen the scheme by fulfilling their obligations of the mortgage.
He pointed out that it was when they service their mortgage as required, the government would be able to mobilize more resources to expand the scheme and provide access to more residents.
The governor said the state‘s mortgage board would retrieve homes from defaulting allotees and give a refund of their contributions.
Fashola said his administration was resolutely committed to the sustainability of the mortgage scheme, explaining he had put in place structures to ensure continuity of the programme.
‘’This scheme has been designed to outlive me and continue for a long time. To achieve that, we have created a board to ensure the processing of applications and ensure delivery of homes to successful applicants. I don’t have a hand it. It is not about me ’’he said.
76 beneficiaries of homes, comprising two and three bedrooms across different estates, emerged at the draw.
The estates in which homes were allocated were Sir Michael Otedola Estate, Epe; Olaitan Mustapha Estate, Ijaiye; Adetoun Mustapha Estate, Ijaiye; Shogunro Estate, Ogba and Choice Estate, Lekki.