Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that his administration will partner the Federal Housing Authority to ensure that people of Rivers State have access to affordable housing.
The governor said such partnership will involve ensuring that the Federal Housing Authority is given access to land to commence immediate construction of houses.
Speaking during the courtesy call by the Managing Director of FHA, Prof Mohammed Al-Amin, Tuesday, Governor Wike directed management of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority and the State Ministry of Housing to liaise with the Federal Housing Authority to develop a framework for affordable housing.
The governor, however, stated that the Federal Housing Authority must sign an undertaking that it will develop lands allocated to it within one year, failure which the Rivers State Government will retake the said allocated lands.
He said: “State Governments find it difficult to allocate plots of land to the Federal Housing Authority because lands allocated are allowed to stay fallow without any developments on them.
“I have directed the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority in conjunction with the State Ministry of Housing to discuss with the Federal Housing Authority on how to develop a framework for the Joint development of affordable housing.
“However, we are proposing that the Federal Housing Authority sign an undertaking that should they fail to use the parcels of land allocated within one year, we shall repossess same”.
In his remarks, Prof Al-Amin noted that the essence of the visit is in furtherance with the directive of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing to the Federal Housing Authority and Federal Mortgage Bank to use lands owned by the Federal Housing Authority across the country with the resources of the Federal Mortgage Bank and invest and deliver housings.
He said Rivers State is among the first slated to benefit from the programme.
He disclosed that the Federal Housing Authority has been restructured into Commercial and Social Departments with a view to making housing a tool for development.
Prof Al-Amin appealed to the governor to allocate more lands to the authority as well as intervene in ground rents and accusation fees charged the authority.