The Lagos State Government is set to rehabilitate old, dilapidated State-owned housing estates.
The Honourable Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, disclosed this at a meeting called by the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Housing to deliberate on matters relating to the rehabilitation of two distressed blocks of flats at Alaka Estate in Surulere, as well as the welfare of the residents who would be temporarily displaced as a result of the exercise.
He reiterated that the State government is committed to its pledge of providing decent housing for the people through the development of new methods for building more homes and renewing old estates.
Akinderu-Fatai said that the government will do its best to protect the affected residents from the inconveniences that would come up as a result of their temporary evacuation from the homes in order to make way for the redevelopment of the distressed structures.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka also assured the affected residents of Alaka Estate, whose representatives were also present at the meeting, that all genuine homeowners will be relocated to their new homes after the reconstruction of the affected blocks.
While allaying the fears of some residents that the rehabilitated homes may not be reallocated to the original owners, she said that stakeholders’ engagement with all concerned will not only help to ensure that all parties are carried along but will also reduce the incidence of lawsuits from parties who may feel marginalised.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola informed the gathering that a global assessment of the level of degradation in all old estates will be the next step in the agenda of urban renewal as most of the old housing estates built about 25 years ago are in varying states of disrepair and require urgent attention.
Speaking earlier at the meeting, the Honourable Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Bisi Yussuf pointed out that the Lagos State House of Assembly as the legislative arm of government is deeply concerned about the danger posed to individuals residing in old and dilapidated estates.
“It is disturbing that some residents live in old structures that may collapse at any time. We have to take urgent action to prevent wastage of lives and property that could result from the imminent collapse of such distressed structures”, he said.
The representatives of the affected residents, led by Mrs. Bisi Bello, expressed their delight with the outcome of the meeting and pledged to support the State Government’s efforts aimed at the re-development of the rundown blocks in Alaka Estate.