The Lagos State government says it is looking to bridge the housing deficit in the state with 20,000 housing units by 2018.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State announced the plan on Monday at an event organised to mark the 2017 World Habitat Day.

The governor represented by his Deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, told the gathering that the plan was part of government’s objective to make the state liveable.

"Shelter is one of man’s basic needs. The ongoing effort in the area of urban renewal and slum upgrading is to show our commitment to running an all-inclusive government and addressing the challenges facing the housing sector," he said.

According to Dr. Adebule, Lagos State will continue to explore public-private partnership to provide decent and affordable housing for all.

"As we strive to provide the enabling environment for investment in the housing sector, we are open to new ideas, technology and methods.

"The private sector remains our key partner in ensuring the delivery of decent, functional and affordable housing in the quality that will match the increasing demand across the state," she added.

At the event, other speakers identified policy inconsistency in Nigeria as a major problem affecting efforts to provide affordable houses in Nigeria.

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This years team for the event is Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’ and a former Commissioner for Lands in the state, Mr Fola Arthur-Worrey, advised the government to consider trends and disparities in income and wealth in policy formulation to address the challenges of affordable housing.

"Governments should put in place rent control legislation  to curb landlords’ excesses and protect the rights of tenants.

"Governments should also improve economic output and income for people to be able to cater for their housing challenges," he said.

The United Nations in 1985, designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of towns and cities and basic right of all to adequate shelter, and the agency is happy Lagos celebrates it.

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"Of all the states in Nigeria, only Lagos state commemorates World Habitat Day and I’m calling on other states to emulate it so as to bring the housing challenges in the nation to the front burner

”Your greener and cleaner Lagos initiative, improved urban planning and slum upgrade are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is commendable,"  United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, Mr Rowland Kayalga, stated.

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