23 August 2017

Uganda: Housing Deficit Not About to Be Solved - National Housing

Kampala — National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC), a government owned real estate developer, has said the housing deficit in Uganda is far from over.

Uganda's housing deficit that currently stands at 2 million units continues to grow by 300,000 units per year.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday at Housing Finance Bank headquarters in Kampala, NHCC managing director, Mr Parity Twinomujuni, said demand for housing keeps increasing amidst growing population numbers and rural-urban migration yet the real estate players can hardly meet it.

"We are just scratching the shortage and it is a small scratch. The population is increasing, we are experiencing increasing urbanisation. There is no doubt that the housing shortage even in the next 50 years will not be solved even if we triple our production," Mr Twinomujuni said.

According to NHCC, by 2020, the housing requirement in Kampala will be at 750,791 units, other towns 1,092,318 units, rural areas 8,482,889 units and nationally 10,325,990 units.

NHCC believes it will multiply its housing stocks by 10 to 15 per cent in the next seven years.

Housing experts say there is need for reasonably priced housing solutions as house prices continue rising between 10 and15 per cent per year, a figure that is unequal to household income.

Mr Twinomujuni voiced concerns about the economy and its impact on all businesses alike and said after a comprehensive review on its projects, National Housing Construction Company has slashed prices of its Namungoona and Mbarara apartments by Shs40m and Shs30m to Shs35m, respectively.

Mr Twinomujuni says the price cuts are not just as a result of efficiencies at the company but to mainly increase the uptake of housing products through affordable housing.

"For a three-bedroomed unit in Namungoona, we may not pick much margins from it but when you put them out and they are bought as quickly as possible, then you are able to invest again," he said.

While launching "Christmas comes early" a campaign geared towards encouraging home ownership, Mr Mathias Katamba, the managing director of Housing Finance Bank, said the bank will provide 100 per cent financing following customer concerns on how financial institutions can complement affordability through mortgage financing.

In the recent past, financial institutions have strengthened efforts towards increasing uptake of affordable homes, with Centenary Bank and Housing Finance Bank introducing micro housing finance loans and long-term mortgage plans respectively.

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