Africa Industry Opinions

Real Estate Financing a Key Catalyst in Reducing the Housing Deficit in Uganda

In a virtual thought leadership engagement held yesterday under the theme “Real Estate Financing in the New Normal”, experts have stressed the role played by financing in closing the housing deficit gap in Uganda.

With the growing population currently standing at 42 million as per UBOS May 2020 statistics, there is continued need of addressing the issue of housing by putting in place practices that facilitate the growth of the housing sector in Uganda moreover with affordable and sustainable practices to ensure implementation.

In his opening remarks, Edwin Musiime the sessions moderator and the CEO Crest Group revealed that “Uganda’s housing situation is characterized by inadequate homes in terms of quality and quantity in both rural and urban areas, with a deficit of 2.4 million housing units, out of which 210,000 units are in urban areas and 1.395 million units in rural areas.”

According to statistic from Habitat for Humanity Uganda, Uganda’s population is projected to be about 48 million by 2022, which growth is expected to require more than 3 million more housing units.

Commenting on Centenary Banks involvement in Real Estate Financing, Mr. Abdul Kyanika, Manager Housing and Salary Business at Centenary Bank, mentioned that, trading as a leading Microfinance bank in Uganda, the bank has developed products that address our customer’s needs especially on the financing front.

“In line with Real Estate financing, our customers have access to land procurement, financing the construction process and improving their homes through our loan portfolio namely; Cente Land Loan, Cente Home Loan, Cente Home Improvement Loan, among others plus the Cente Mortgage Loan raging from Ushs. 300 million and beyond,” Kyanika revealed

He further remarked that, “As we support our customers in the land acquisition and registration process, it is key that we invest in the right partnerships like what we have formed with Buganda Land Board, Universal Multipurpose Enterprise, Habitat for Humanity Uganda, to mention but a few. However, we need not to forget that without a proper land tenure system, people cannot own land, therefore the need to form right collaborations for the housing deficit to be addressed through new opportunities like condominiums.”

“Additionally, we urge Government to continue to create a conducive atmosphere for the growth of the Real Estate Sector, by improving the social infrastructures like roads, utilities like electricity, water supply among others,” Kyanika concluded.

Muffaddal Yeolawala, Managing Director, Universal Multipurpose Enterprise (UME) explained that “We offer housing units ranging from a one bed room apartment to more than two, this is intended to offer our customers an array of options they can work with as we address the issues of housing deficit and land ownership. Currently we are putting up close to 1,000 units in different areas where UME properties are stationed, and through our partnership with Centenary Bank, individuals are able to own condominiums through the Cente Mortgage Loan hence addressing the land ownership issue.”

“Accessing credit for home construction continues to be a challenge for low-income families in Uganda and our partnership with financial institutions like Centenary Bank creates an enabling environment for the gap to be closed,” noted Moses Ssimwogerere, Financial Inclusion Specialist at Habitat for Humanity Uganda,

Ssimwogerere explained that, “innovation and technology are key tools that have facilitated the construction of reasonably priced homes at a cost of as low as Ushs 30 million, which I believe is a positive attribute in Uganda’s housing sector.”

The housing deficit presents a lucrative avenue for developers in the Real Estate sector and other players like financial institutions to venture into addressing the increasing demand and need of affordable property in the country while creating the much needed impact for even the “everyday person”.