As a mechanism of minimising expenditure on rent, Government has unveiled a plan to construct a one-stop center for Government offices in Kampala.
According to Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the state minister for housing, the new Government complex will save tax payers the sh99b burden spent on rent every year.
"All Government offices, starting in Kampala, will be housed in Government buildings. We want Government to stop renting. We spend sh99b every year on rent. So, we are planning to build a Government complex to house Government offices. It is a decision Government has already undertaken," he said.
The plan is part of a wider housing project, tailored towards providing decent houses to the population, especially public servants such as teachers, health workers and members of the armed forces—prisons, police and the army.
"Government shall also mainstream the construction of houses for the military, police, prisons, teachers and medical workers under an institutional housing arrangement," he said.
Baryomunsi, who was speaking to journalists at his office over the weekend, also revealed that due to the increasing population and urbanisation rate, discussions with the private sector, mainly real estate actors, are already underway to ensure that Ugandans can access good accommodation cheaply.
"The country right now is grappling with a housing deficit of 2.1m units. But even some players in the real estate business have made it hell for average Ugandans to acquire houses. The rent dues are so high and for one to buy a house, you have to give the developer over sh300m. Surely, very few Ugandans can afford," he said.
To ease the financial stress of buying a house or renting one, Baryomunsi said, Government is working out a mortgage framework to enable citizens afford decent housing cheaply. To implement this mortgage framework, a public-private partnership concept will be developed.
Baryomunsi said under a public-private partnership framework, government will provide major inputs such as the construction of access roads, installation of utilities like electricity, water and sewerage network on identified real estate development locations and set up a housing fund, where real estate developers can access loans at low rates.
The landlord-tenant Bill is the other intervention that Government has crafted.
"We have finished drafting a number of legal mechanisms, including the landlord-tenant bill, which will stop the charging of rent fees in dollars, eviction of tenants and also regulate the real estate sector in the country," he said.