Family Homes Funds: Beacon of Hope in Nigeria’s Housing Crisis

Adewole Kehinde
8 Min Read
Family Homes Funds

Although housing is a basic necessity, Nigeria continues to witness a significant housing deficit, worsened by an ever-increasing urban population that drives up the demand for shelter.

Despite various policy adjustments and projects by the government , the shortfall remains a pressing issue, with some Nigerians resorting to settling in slums and ghettos that now dominate parts of the nation’s metropolitan skylines.

Amidst these challenges, Family Homes Funds Limited emerges as a beacon of hope. Established in 2016 by the Nigerian government under former President Muhammadu Buhari, the Family Homes Funds (FHF) was designed as a Special Purpose Vehicle to promote affordable housing. Partnering with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the FHF aims to provide affordable mortgages to low-income families.

They pledged to deliver 500,000 homes by 2023. Since beginning operations in 2017, the FHF has significantly impacted lives with schemes like Help To Own and Rent To Own, building over 15,000 homes in states such as Delta, Ogun, and Kano.

According to Alhaji Suleiman Barau, the Board Chairman of Family Homes Funds, “The Funds has built over 15,000 homes in four years for families,” indicating the organization’s dedication and tangible achievements in addressing the nation’s housing needs.

The Impressive Portfolio of Projects of FHFL

Findings by Housing Reporters highlight significant efforts by Family Homes Funds Limited to bridge the housing deficit in the country.
In June 2021, Family Homes Funds Limited, in collaboration with the Borno State government, completed the construction of 700 new homes for low-income earners in Chibok and Yana Yaskuri. This intervention provided up to 3,200 displaced families, previously living in makeshift tents, with access to brand new homes in their original communities, enabling them to start afresh. The scheme, financed by Family Homes Funds, also generated up to 12,000 new jobs for young people in the state.

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Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL) collaborated with the Kano state government to present 500 new homes to beneficiaries in Kano state. The official allocation ceremony, predominantly attended by civil servants, particularly school teachers, took place at the Coronation Hall in the Kano state government house on Saturday, December 10th, 2022.

In June 2023, Family Homes Fund, in partnership with the Gombe State government, initiated the construction of 600 new homes, incorporating various infrastructure such as marketplaces, schools, healthcare facilities, and recreational areas.

Recently, as part of its commitment to not only provide housing for families but also enhance student accommodation, Family Homes Funds announced its participation in financing the federal government’s national student housing programme. Collaborating with Limited, Africa Plus Partners, and TETFund, Family Homes Funds aims to support the development of safe, comfortable, and conducive living spaces for students across Nigeria.

The groundbreaking ceremony at Akwa Ibom State University marked the beginning of a project to create 1,600 bed spaces, highlighting the collaborative effort to address student housing needs in tertiary institutions. This initiative is part of a national program targeting 24 institutions, including universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education across all six geopolitical zones.

Partnership with Stakeholders and Construction Companies

A key element of the FHF’s success has been its ability to forge strong partnerships with various stakeholders and construction companies. By collaborating with local and international firms, the FHF has been able to leverage expertise, funding, and innovative building technologies.

In 2022, the organization entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) to enhance capacity in costing and cost management of construction projects. The following year, in 2023, the FHF signed a partnership with Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer, to facilitate the construction of 300,000 affordable houses across the Federal Capital Territory and 36 states. Subsequent management meetings resulted in Dangote Cement committing to supplying cement to Family Homes Funds sites at discounted rates.

Recognizing the importance of sustainable power supply in the functionality of a home, Family Homes Funds Limited formed an alliance with Solar Home System Providers in 2023, to equip all houses under the National Social Housing Programme (NSHP) with off-grid solar power. This strategic partnership ensures that Family Homes Funds houses under the NSHP have reliable access to off-grid solar power, addressing the critical need for electricity in low-income communities.

According to the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole, this collaboration signifies a ‘joint out-thinking’ partnership with the Power Sector Economic Sustainability Committee, aiming to provide affordable shelter and power solutions to individuals and families on low incomes.

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FHFL’s efforts and strategic alliances with stakeholders in the housing and construction sectors have earned it significant support from prominent stakeholders and civil society organizations, such as the Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN).

This support is exemplified by HDAN’s 2023 call for the release of the N200 billion CBN loan approved in 2020 for low-cost housing, highlighting FHFL’s influence and the trust it has garnered in the industry.

Accolades and Recognition

Family Homes Funds Limited’s comprehensive approach to housing and urban development has earned it numerous accolades.

FHFL won the 2022 Africa Housing Awards (AHA) as the Affordable Housing Company of the Year and the Housing Intervention Program of the Year for the 2021 edition of the same award.

Additionally, FHFL was named the Affordable Housing Finance Company of the Year 2022 by the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN).

In 2020, the organization was honored with the ‘Housing Impact Intervention Award’ at the Nigeria Housing Awards (NHA) in Abuja. Festus Adebayo, CEO of Africa Housing Awards, noted that “The impact of the Funds is already being felt across the country with thousands of low cost houses built for those who, on their own, wouldn’t have dreamt of ever owning houses.”

In 2023, FHFL received an upgraded rating from “A” to “A+” by Agusto & Co., a leading pan-African credit rating agency.

Conclusion

The Family Homes Funds has become a vital force in tackling Nigeria’s housing deficit, particularly for low-income earners. By building over 15,000 homes, fostering strategic partnerships, integrating sustainable energy solutions, and creating jobs, the FHF has significantly improved the living standards of many families.

The organization’s comprehensive approach to housing and community development has significantly improved the living standards of many families.
However, amidst these achievements, thought-provoking tasks lie ahead, signaling that there is still more to be done to address the nation’s housing challenges comprehensively.

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