All over the world, the ability to own a home without financial assistance is beyond the ability of most people. Mortgage schemes have evolved with the purpose of providing financial support to prospective home owners, providing a loan facility to secure a property and pay the outstanding amount (the principal) back over time, typically with interest on the loan.
In Nigeria, mortgage schemes are still very much at an infancy stage in their adoption. Prospective homeowners around the country typically save up to purchase property in cash or buy land with the intention of building a home in phases according to the availability of funds. Typical mortgages by deposit money banks are available for up to 20 years at 20 percent to 25 percent interest.
The Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) is unique in being one of the few existing mortgage schemes able to provide interest rates below double digits. The state government has delivered housing units across the state specifically for this purpose. Lagos HOMS was established to provide first time property buyers in Lagos with the opportunity to become homeowners.
Specifically, the government is providing subsidized mortgages for ordinary citizens of Lagos, and a pool of houses in which winners can set up their new residence. Winners of the subsidized mortgages are drawn out of a lottery on a monthly basis. In order to be eligible you must fulfill the following criteria: an applicant must reside in Lagos State; must be able to provide proof of a job and regular income. He/she must be over 21 years old; must have a clean credit history; and must have been working for your current employer for a minimum of 6 months.
In order for the application to be processed, the following must be provided by the applicant: Two passport-sized photographs with applicant’s name and signature on the back; Evidence of tax payment covering the last 5 years; Personal Bank Statement for the previous 6 months; Pay slips covering the previous 6 months; and Letter of reference from your current employer, which should contain affirmation of your job title, annual salary, obligations and status within the company.