10 August 2017

Uganda: National Housing Reduces Namungoona House Prices

Kampala — National Housing and Construction Corporation has announced a 16.4 per cent reduction in the price of its apartments in Impala Estates Namungoona, a Kampala suburb.

The chief executive officer of the Corporation, Mr Parity Twinomujuni, told Daily Monitor in an interview on Tuesday that the cost of the apartments which first came on the market in May last year, has been reduced from Shs295 million to Shs250 million per unit.

"The move is aimed at enabling more Ugandans get decent accommodation and at a competitive market price," he said.

The move, however, also comes amidst challenges including failure by the shareholders, the Government of Uganda which owns 51 per cent of the company and the Government of Libya which, through the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP), owns 49 per cent of company, to capitalise the company.

Although the United Nations in 2011, lifted sanctions it had slapped on Libya in the run up to the killing of the country's former strongman, Muammar Gaddafi in October 2010, LAP has been inactive.

President Yoweri Museveni had in the run up to the 2011 general elections promised that his government was going to address a rising housing deficit.

Inadequate housing

According to the 2016 National housing policy by the ministry of lands, housing and urban development, "The housing situation in the country is characterised by inadequate housing in terms of quality and quantity both in rural and urban areas with a housing deficit of about 1.6 million housing units, out of which 210,000 units are needed in the urban areas."

"In order to reduce on the housing backlog in urban areas, NRM will provide land and physical infrastructure to private real estate developers," Mr Museveni pointed out in the party's manifesto, adding that the NRM would also "capitalise National Housing Corporation to be a lead agency in providing housing in urban areas."

However, the funding did not materialise and the Corporation has been making do with funding from commercial banks.

"We pay commercial interest rates. Those are passed on to the customers which makes the cost of the units higher," he said.

There are 131 semi-detached houses and 64 apartments in the estates. Both the semi-detached units and apartments have three bedrooms one of which, the Master bedroom, is self-contained. Each of them also has a kitchen, sitting room with dining space and front and back verandahs.

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