New Vision (Kampala)

12 February 2013

Uganda: Teachers, Doctors to Get 10,000 Houses

Photo: Precious Birungi/Newvision
Kampala has a deficit of 100,000 housing units according to finance minister.

The Government plans to construct 10,000 apartments within the city for doctors and teachers, starting this financial year.

According to the lands ministry spokesperson, Dennis Obbo, the process for the implementation of the project is already underway.

"Land has already been identified in Mulago, Namirembe and Seeta. The procurement process has also commenced," said Obbo, adding that the project will be carried out under a public-private partnership.

The details of the project were announced by lands minister Daudi Migereko on Friday while addressing stakeholders during a meeting on land development and management held at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala.

Migereko said the Government also intends to construct and rehabilitate 4,000 houses for teachers in over 40 districts in northern Uganda.

Migereko, who described the project as 'massive', said the Government had already earmarked funds from the World Bank to fund the five-year programme.

"Cabinet sat and resolved to sort out the issue of housing for our workers," said Migereko.

He, however, declined to say how much the project would cost, saying final estimates would be announced prior to commencement of the works.

"Every year, we have fresh graduates. These new recruits need nice and decent houses, and new cars. Why should a graduate reside in Kinawataka or Makiv (Makerere Kivulu)?" Migereko mused.

He said the units will have two bedrooms, a kitchen, sitting and dinning room as well as parking space.

Migereko said the first phase of the project will involve building modern apartments for doctors in Mulago Hospital and at Namirembe for teachers.

He added that the Government was working out a mechanism to regulate real estate dealers and partner with the Kampala Capital City Authority to decongest the city.

"People don't have to be in Kampala to have a feel of the city. We shall have well-planned satellite cities outside Kampala to house our civil servants," the minister said.

He said President Museveni had personally chaired all the cabinet land and housing session meetings and authorised that the project be fully implemented.

Migereko said the Government had agreed that housing estates like Bugolobi flats be spread out across the country to ease pressure on the urban areas.

The Government has already earmarked sh126.45b under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for the construction of 2,705 houses and an additional sh40.56b for the rehabilitation of the 1,510 units for teachers.

Migereko said the Government plans to build 10,000 units of social housing every year to end homelessness and provide secure housing for all citizens.

The chairperson of the Uganda Land Owners Association, Eva Mulira, urged the Government to support the setting up of more housing banks to ease house acquisition.

The average mortgage loan size issued by commercial banks is between sh60m-80m, an amount too high for low-income earners.

Most of the stakeholders observed that the low-income earners who constitute over 80% of the population have, for a long time, been left out of this bracket.

They said this is a reflection of the relatively weak foundations made by consecutive governments in building a sound housing industry for the mainly poor rapidly growing population.

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