Having access to affordable housing solutions is a growing concern for millions of Nigerians. To provide affordable housing for all citizens, the federal government introduced the National Housing Fund (NHF) in 1992. It is a programme aimed at helping citizens achieve their dream of homeownership through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). In this article, we will look into the definition and purpose of the NHF, explore the benefits it offers, and guide you through the process of registration and loan application.
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What is the National Housing Fund (NHF)?
The National Housing Fund is a scheme established by the Nigerian government through the Federal Mortgage Bank to provide affordable housing to its citizens. The primary objective of NHF is to facilitate the consistent availability of residential housing to low and middle-income earners. It does so by deducting 2.5% of monthly salary from eligible individuals and disbursing these funds as mortgage loans for the construction, acquisition, and improvement of their homes. An individual is entitled to a maximum of N15m mortgage loan which must be paid within a maximum of 30 years.
Benefits of Joining the National Housing Fund Scheme
Below are some of the benefits of joining the National Housing Fund scheme and how it can transform your homeownership dream into reality:
1. Flexible repayment options
One of the major benefits of the National Housing Fund is its flexible repayment options. The NHF allows contributors to access housing loans at 6% interest rates, making homeownership easier. The repayment tenure of these loans is equally convenient, ranging from 1-30 years. This flexibility ensures that applicants can choose a repayment plan that suits their financial capacity without defaulting in loan repayment.
2. Access to affordable housing
The National Housing Fund is committed to providing affordable housing solutions to Nigerians. By sponsoring various housing development projects, the NHF ensures the availability of decent and affordable homes for individuals and families across the country. Through this fund, owning a home becomes a possibility for those who previously thought it is beyond their reach.
3. Stress-free NHF Registration Process
Registering for the National Housing Fund is a straightforward process that can be completed through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria or other accredited mortgage banks such as First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, AG Mortgage Bank Limited, Infinity trust Mortgage Bank PLC, etc.
4. Lower interest rates on housing loans
If it is more than single digit, it is no longer a mortgage. One of the primary benefits of the NHF is access to housing loans at a significantly reduced interest rate of 6%. These rates are typically much lower than what commercial banks and other financial institutions offer. This provision ensures that individuals can borrow funds for housing projects with more convenient repayment terms.
5. Access to Housing Loan
The NHF offers access to housing loans to individuals who may find it challenging to secure funds through traditional means.
The Role of the Federal Mortgage Bank in managing the NHF
As the governing body of the NHF, the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMBN) plays an important role in managing the fund and ensuring its efficient utilization. The bank is responsible for overseeing the registration process, collecting contributions, and allocating loans to deserving applicants. Additionally, the bank engages in extensive housing development projects across the country, thereby promoting affordable housing in Nigeria.
NHF Registration and Loan Application Process
You can’t just wake up and decide to apply for a mortgage, there is need to follow the process and confirm your eligibility. You should take note of the following:
Make sure that you meet the qualifications to become a member, i.e., being in formal employment with an employer who has more than three employees.
Register your organization with the NHF through the Federal Mortgage Bank. This enables your employees' eligibility to participate in the scheme.
If you are applying for the National Housing Fund as an individual, you will have to do so through a licensed and accredited PMI (Primary Mortgage institution) such as First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, AG Mortgage Bank Limited, Infinity trust Mortgage Bank PLC, etc.
NHF Registration Process
Submit the required documents, including completed application forms and means of identification to the NHF office or through the designated liaison officer in your organization.
Start remitting monthly contributions to the NHF through your employer. These contributions are deducted directly from your salary, making it a convenient and stress-free process.
NHF Loan Application
After contributing for a minimum period of six months, you can apply for NHF loans. You can either apply directly to the Federal Mortgage bank if you are applying as an organisation or through a Primary Mortgage Institution (PMI) as an individual. Compile the necessary documents, such as a completed loan application form and supporting financial statements, to initiate the loan application process.
Frequently Asked Questions about the NHF
You must be at least 21 years old. You must also be in paid employment. You must also have contributed 2.5% of your salary to the fund through the Federal Mortgage Bank for at least 6 months.
If your number is registered with FMBN, you can check your NHF balance by dialing *219# and follow the prompts.
In case you change your job, your new employer will need to submit NHF form 2 to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to indicate the change of employer and inform them to transfer your registration number to the new employer.
You can only access NHF loans once in your lifetime.
The mortgage bank will reach out to your guarantors, and if they are unable to pay, the property will be sold to recover the loan.
Contributions to the NHF used to be mandatory for all employed Nigerians both in the public and private sector. These contributions are set at 2.5% of the employee's monthly salary and are deducted at the source by their respective employers. However, as a result of the Business Facilitation Act signed in March 2023, it is now optional for private sector employees. Self-employed individuals are also encouraged to contribute voluntarily.
The National Housing Fund is a game-changer for so many Nigerians looking forward to transitioning from renting to owning their own homes. With its affordable housing solutions, attractive housing loans, and the opportunity to contribute towards housing development in Nigeria, the NHF is truly empowering Nigerians to achieve their dreams of homeownership.
So, take advantage of this incredible initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Even if you already have a home, you can still apply for the loan to acquire another property which you can use to generate rental income. Register with the NHF and start your journey towards owning your own home.