The New Times (Kigali)

13 February 2013

Rwanda: City Evictees to Get Title Deeds for New Homes

The Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) could soon embark on building more low-cost houses in Batsinda, Gasabo District, after one-third of occupants of the 250 units the board previously constructed in the area have finished paying.

HOME SWEET HOME

One unit of the estate was sold at Rwf3.5 million to city residents who were relocated from the town's from the suburbs of Kiyovu, Muhima, and Kimicanga. One unit has two bedrooms, a living room, a wasLatest information from RSSB indicates that, of 250 housing units built in Batsinda, 101 units have been bought and fully paid for, whereas the remaining 149 units are being paid for in instalments.

According to the board's Director of Public Relations, Communication and Education, Moses Kazoora, the board has embarked on feasibility studies to build another batch of similar units in the same area.

"There is Batsinda Project Phase 2 of constructing more units of low-cost housing, but it is still under pilot study," Kazoora told The New Times.

Kazoora said that a total amount of Rwf384.6 million has been paid and a balance of Rwf490.3 million is to be collected from occupants of Batsinda estates.

One unit of the estates was sold at Rwf 3.5 million to city residents who were relocated from the suburbs of Kiyovu, Muhima, and Kimicanga. One unit has two bedrooms, a sitting room, a washroom, and a kitchen.

Francine Uwiragiye, a mother of five children that she is raising with her husband, has completed paying for the house through a bank loan that the family acquired after showing a payment agreement that the Kigali City gave them after they were expropriated from Kiyovu.

The Kigali City is one of RSSB's developmental partners in the Batsinda project which assists in reinforcing payments after expropriated occupants were moved to the houses when their previous homes were razed to pave way for buildings that meet the standard of Kigali City Master plan.

"We like this place. We have water and electricity nearby and buying food in this area costs less than in Kiyovu," Uwiragiye said as she explained how she had been coping with the new area since the family moved there in 2008.

"There are some people who sold their units but for us we were afraid of losing ours because we like this place."

Kigali City Council is currently processing leasehold titles for those who have completed full payments of the houses.

The Director of Kigali Construction One-Stop Centre, which currently helps with construction permits and oversees the planning of the city's construction, Lillian Mupende, said it was time to start issuing the title deeds because a significant number of occupants have already paid for their property.

"We would have done this earlier but because we are trying to follow a systematic registration we wanted to be able to register all the properties at the same time," she said in an interview. "But it's very obvious that there are different case scenarios per different property owners so now we are looking for a way of facilitating those who have completed payment. There is no need to be worried, this is their home."

Mupende says the city needs more of such residential areas in order to conduct large scale expropriation projects.

In an earlier interview, Mupende said some areas to host low-cost houses will be in Gasabo and Nyarugenge districts. Gasabo district's Batsinda, Kinyinya, and Gacuriro is where the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) is set to build 3,000 housing units in the next three years, while Kigali City, in a joint venture with the housing financial institution Shelter-Afrique and the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) will build residential houses in Nyarugenge district's 39 hectare Akumunigo area.

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