13 January 2013

Uganda: KCCA to Construct 800,000 Housing Units

KAMPALA Capital City Authority (KCCA) has unveiled a plan to construct about 800,000 affordable housing units for low income earners in the city.

According to Joseph Semambo, KCCA's director for physical planning, the housing units will be constructed in Naguru, Nakawa, the doctors' village in Mulago and at Old Kampala SS. Other areas are Kireka, Bukerere, Namanve and Nsambya Railways, Nsambya Police Barracks, Temangalo and Mbalala-Mukono.

At Naguru, the Government is planning to construct 1,747 housing units, 2,500 units at the doctors' village Mulago, 329 units in Kireka and 350 units in Bukerere. It will also construct 1,000 units in Mukono, 5,000 units in Temangalo and 240 units at Old Kampala SS. The units at Old Kampala SS will be specifically for teachers working in the city, while those at the doctors' village, Mulago will be for doctors.

The whole project is contained in the Kampala Physical Development Plan (KPDP), which covers the city's development between 2012 and 2040.

In the plan, there is a proposal to construct 550,000 housing units of both reasonable high standard and basic standards by 2021 to meet projected high population growth.

The $20b project will require that the rate of construction of non-muzigo housing be doubled and that all such additional con-struction be of reasonable standard.

Agnes Kadama Kalibbala, the director of housing, in the lands ministry, told New Vision that the ministry is partnering with KCCA to construct houses for health workers on a 40 acre piece of land at Mulago.

"We are also planning to construct housing units for teachers on a six-acre piece of land at Old Kampala SS. KCCA and the lands ministry are working closely to develop the site and architectural plans," she said.

Kalibabala also noted that service providers like UMEME, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda National Road Fund would develop infrastructure in the areas.

According to her, KCCA will be the landlord. These projects, she note, will commence in the financial year starting July and they are expected to be completed in three years.

"Preparatory work is ongoing. We have already submitted the proposal to the finance ministry for consideration and approval," she said.

About the amount of rent, Kalibbala noted that the proposal is to charge sh200,000 for a one-bedroom flat, sh300,000 for a two-bedroom flat and sh400,000 for a three-bedroom flat per month.

A graphic showing the KCCA proposed housing units. Inset are artistic impressions of the housing units. Graphic by Brian Ssekamate

"Rent will be collected as per the salary scales of the beneficiaries. It will be at a subsidised rate as compared to the market rate," she explained.

Kalibbala also said President Yoweri Museveni, in his new year's message, commented on the project as a promise to improve the welfare of teachers and medical workers, who are facing acute shortage of housing facilities near their work premises.

"After a successful completion of these two projects, the Government intends to replicate these plans in other areas," Kalibbala said.

Semambo added that the houses will also have parking space and recreational areas.

Lands minister Daudi Migereko says the projects will be implemented through a public private partnership venture, where a private developer will be expected to inject funds for construction as well as affordable technologies.

The Government, he said, would run adverts for interested companies to apply.

Kalibbala said all procedures would follow the Government procurement procedures in line with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.

"We shall advertise as soon as the finance ministry approves the project. Both international and local firms are encouraged to apply," she noted.

According to KPDP, investments of these projects should be financed entirely by the private sector since the Government is offering land, infrastructure and technical support.

The Government shall introduce a concept of Build Operate and Transfer (BOT). This means the private developers will build these houses, operate them temporarily on agreed terms and after that the developers transfer the properties to the administration of Mulago Hospital and the education ministry respectively.

"We expect these institutions to hire property managers, who will maintain and manage these projects profes¬sionally," Kalibbala said.

However KPDP points out that the land tenure system and poverty have made it hard for the Kampala housing property market to meet its current needs.

It also points out that poverty in the city and the consequent low level of household income, severely compounded by the weight of expenditure on education and transportation.

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