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Shelter Afrique and UN-Habitat provide solutions for affordable houses

By John Odyek

Added 2nd June 2017 06:30 PM

Uganda’s housing shortage stands at 1.6 million units according to the ministry of lands, housing and urban development

Renting affordable and decent houses is a still a problem to many Ugandans and other people in Africa.

For this reason Shelter Africa and UN Habitat have come up with plans to deliver affordable houses and policy suggestions for governments.

Uganda’s housing shortage stands at 1.6 million units according to the ministry of lands, housing and urban development. The yearly demand for residential units is recorded at 200,000 residential units per annum in a country with a population of 34.6m people.

Shelter Afrique and UN-Habitat want to jointly create a coalition of large employers in Africa to implement “Employer sponsored housing programs in Africa”. The programme targets to produce 100,000 housing units by 2020.

State minister for housing Dr. Chris Baryomunsi has expressed government’s commitment to provide affordable houses for Ugandans. This was during the 26th General Council of UN-Habitat held in Nairobi, Kenya.

During the meeting, Shelter Afrique and UN-Habitat pledged to create a rental housing promotion initiative that will influence regulation and create the enabling environment for rental housing in Africa.

A statement from Shelter Afrique said the two organisations want to address the creation of a 360-degree housing policy review to provide feedback to governments on policy flaws and Gaps and establish a monitoring mechanism to evaluate progress.

Speaking on behalf of African governments, Baryomunsi reaffirmed the commitment of African governments to provide affordable houses in Africa and to meet the objectives of the new urban agenda.

The new urban agenda is a new UN framework that that lays out how cities should be planned and managed to best promote sustainable urbanization. “I want to assure you that we will not pay lip-service to the goals. We have initiated several successful projects with Shelter Afrique and UN-Habitat. We rely on them for policy and implementation advice, and we have been grateful for their support, but we require ceremonies like this to recommit ourselves to the future of affordable housing in Africa,” Baryomunsi added.

Shelter Afrique, the Pan-African finance institution supporting the development of affordable housing and real estate sector in Africa and UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency responsible for Human Settlement and Housing signed a memorandum of understanding which will see collaboration on delivering on the new urban agenda and providing affordable houses.

Acting managing director for Shelter Afrique, Femi Adewole said they want to make an impact on the continent. “We are committed to this action because the scale of the challenges that face us as a continent, require ambition, dedication and commitment,” Adewole said.

The memorandum between the two organisations will create a funding mechanism for housing and housing-related infrastructure in Africa by 2018. It aims to raise a total of $1 b by 2020. It also focuses on creating a Pan-African slum eradication program to be implemented in 20 countries by 2021.

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