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Mixed housing scheme best for Lagos, Dubai-based developer

A Dubai-based real estate developer has declared that a mixed income housing scheme whereby high income earners live the same locality with middle and low income earners is the most suitable development option for Lagos and other emerging metropolis in Nigeria.

Mr. Akin Sawyer, Director of EBRAM Global Housing, a real estate firm based in Dubai, UAE, who stated this at the recently concluded Lagos Economic Summit, tagged: Ehingbeti 2010, said it is the antidote for the emergence of slums in the nation’s cities.

“We must be careful when talking about low cost housing. When you build low cost housing as a unitary scheme, you end up building a slum, which has its attendant problems like crime, “ he noted.

Sawyer asserted that the common practice of separating the housing schemes along income levels is mostly responsible for the springing up of slums, even in high profile areas like Lekki and Ikeja GRA, adding that “after all, high income earners need low income earners like drivers and maids to serve them.”

He said the state can explore the use of other materials, like bamboo and bricks, to build low cost houses, warning that care must be taken not to “bury Lagos in concrete”.

Participants at the event faulted the seeming preference by the state government of recent to develop housing schemes that cater for the needs of high income earners only, with one participant asking that government takes a cue from the US example, whereby government demands for certain units of low income housing estates from real estate developers, before granting the land needed for their projects.


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