One year after, Lagos HOMS winners yet to get keys

  • Lament breach of contract

The winners of the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme are bitter with the state government over what they described as breach of contract in its housing scheme.
The Point investigations revealed that despite promises made by the government to allocate apartments to the winners few months after they have paid the 30 per cent initial deposit for the flats, most of the beneficiaries had yet to receive keys to the flats as over 70 per cent of the buildings remain vacant across the state.
Some of the respondents, who spoke with The Point, disclosed that with the development, the objective of the Lagos HOMS, which the government claimed was to encourage and support homeless tax payers, would be defeated.
A winner of the Mortgage Scheme at the Ojokoro area of the state, Mr. Stallone Obaremi, said that the exorbitant price of the apartments laid with regards to payment of the monthly mortgage, eroded his confidence and that of his two friends, who are also winners, in the new administration.
“The payment plan was changed and it became too short, especially now that the economy is biting hard. The government should have a human face and reconsider the payment plan. “I aborted my application process and encouraged two of my friends to do same because I lost hope in the scheme,” he said.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that most of the apartments in Mushin, Igando, Sangotedo, Ojokoro, Lekki, Ikorodu and Epe were about 70 per cent vacant, while others in Oko Oba, Shogunro, Ilupeju, Shitta were 50 per cent occupied.
Another disturbed winner, Mrs. Adeogun Oladotun, who applied for an apartment in Sangotedo, told The Point that she won the apartment in March 2015 and paid her initial 30 per cent one month later but her dream of collecting the keys to the apartment appears illusive.
“I paid about N5 million last year for a three-bedroom apartment and the management of the scheme had reneged on its promise. We had a meeting with the Lagos mortgage board last year and the meeting was inconclusive.
“It is annoying that they cannot be serious with anything. Out of the 300 blocks of flat in the Sangotedo scheme, just about a 100 blocks have been completed. If I had used my initial deposit for another project, I would have gained from such investment,” she lamented.
Contrary to the claim of the government that the scheme is for the masses, Oladotun argued that the scheme is only affordable by the upper and middle class of the society.
“Despite government promises that the housing scheme is affordable to Lagosians, who want to own their private homes, the average income earner cannot still not afford the N99, 000 monthly payment. It means that the person should be earning three times that amount in order to be able to meet up with the monthly mortgage,” she added.
However, the Lagos Mortgage Board spokesperson, Mr. Kayode Abayomi, insisted that most of the apartments had been allocated by the Babatunde Fashola-led immediate past administration based on a monthly draw exercise.
“Some of them have been reserved so that whenever another draw is conducted the applicants will have different schemes to choose from, so that it won’t be like the winners are forced to own the apartment in a particular scheme or area. Winners of the Mushin Scheme will be given their keys at the end of July, other schemes in Oko Oba and Ojokoro are still open for sale,” he told The Point.