The State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who stated this after embarking on an extensive inspection tour of projects across the State, said his administration has decided to scale up the rent-to-own policy by introducing monthly payment plan whereby people can pay monthly instead of being compelled to make a down payment of 30 percent of the total cost or pay for one year.
"We believe strongly that people should be able to pay one month rent and live in our housing schemes. We don't think in a recession, we should be having a situation where we allow people to come and buy when they don't have money or to come and pay one year rent. We think the way to move forward is to allow these our younger ones to just pay one month deposit and pay one month rent and move into the houses and then more or less play up our rent-to-own scheme,” Governor Ambode said.While speaking on the pocket-friendly initiatives of his administration on housing, Governor Ambode said the State Government has taken time to review its mortgage schemes vis-à-vis its financial flow, adding that many ongoing housing schemes have reached advanced stages of completion, and that they would be rolled out in a matter of months. The Governor, who inspected the Illubirin Housing Scheme in Lagos Island, said government, in partnership with private sector, is making arrangement to transform the scheme into a live, work and play environment.
“In addition to that, the other housing projects that we are doing are on course and I want to assure Lagosians that in the next few months, we will be seeing a whole lot of housing units being rolled out," the Governor said.On his part, the State's Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, debunked insinuation that the Illubirin Housing Scheme had been abandoned, saying that government was rather working to improve on the project which is sitting on 28 hectares. He recalled how the project started under the administration of former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu with sand filling, while his predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola carried on with the project. He said:
"Now, under the administration of Governor Ambode, we want to scale it up and the idea is to make this place a live, play and work environment and so we are projecting 500 units instead of the 1,260 that the scheme was formerly designed for. We believe government funds should be deployed to some other sites that we are working on and to also come up with new designs and new buildings and so instead of government to recapitalize this project, we are working with the private sector and the investor that has come up is investing about $500 million."According to Lawal, about five hectares of the Illubirin scheme would be dedicated for leisure, while there would also be commercial activities, as well as flyover which would be constructed. He said the State Government is already working with the Federal Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Waterfront in that regard, adding that the flyover would be on another phase. He also said that all the phases of the scheme are expected to span between five to seven years, but that there would be a lot of improvement on the project before May 2019. Governor Ambode also inspected the ongoing construction of a lay-by and slip road into Isheri Olowora at Berger bus-stop.