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Govt asks real estate developers to build affordable houses

By John Odyek

Added 28th June 2019 02:46 PM

Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the State Minister for Housing said despite the fact that many houses continue to be erected, they are too expensive for the ordinary Ugandan.

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Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the State Minister for Housing said despite the fact that many houses continue to be erected, they are too expensive for the ordinary Ugandan.

 
REAL ESTATE
 
Government has asked real estate developers in the country to construct houses that are affordable for the majority of Ugandans.
 
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the State Minister for Housing said despite the fact that many houses continue to be erected, they are too expensive for the ordinary Ugandan.
 
Baryomunsi said that the country is currently facing a shortage of houses of 2.5m housing units per year attributing it to reasons such as the high costs of construction materials, the fast-growing population that demands affordable housing and high-interest rates on mortgages.
 
The minister said this while launching the construction of Najjera Heights apartments being constructed by Build Net, a local real estate company.
 
He said Government was negotiating with development partners to provide cheaper credit to banks to enable them lend cheaply to real estate developers, thus translating into cheap mortgages.
 
“The high rate of urbanization has both opportunities and challenges and the provision of housing services is one of the challenges. Urban centres rise up at a rate of 5.2% per annum, it is very high.
 
The country also produces 1.5 million children annually and we need to provide them with health, education, transport services and houses for them,” he said.
 
To ensure quality during construction, the minister urged developers to follow building regulations and standards. This he said will avoid accidents, collapse of buildings and loss of lives.
 
Gerald Kizito, the Kiira division LCIII chairperson said the area was faced with many challenges including traffic congestion, narrow roads, and poor drainage system.
 
“We are advocating for a planned development because Najjera is an urban area with a fast growing population. This area faces traffic jams in the morning and evenings,” Kizito said.
 
Kiira Municipality Mayor Julius Mutebi said the population of the area currently stands at 405,000. The big population, he noted, has caused enormous physical planning and budget challenges for the municipality. 
 
“Government should implement the greater Kampala metropolitan area strategy to cater for the fast-growing population. This will support towns and municipalities surrounding Kampala to set up major infrastructure which they currently cannot afford,” Mutebi said.
 
He cited a scenario where the main roads can be constructed and maintained by the Kampala Metropolitan Authority whereas the smaller ones can be built by municipalities.
 
“The increase in the size of councilors and civil servants has also mounted pressure on the municipal budget which is limited,” He said, asking Government to make Wakiso a city.
 
Dr Ibrahim Semaganda, the managing director Build Net said whereas their ultimate goal is to set up affordable houses for the ordinary Ugandan, the high taxes on building materials are a major constraint.
 
These include both locally and imported materials such as tiles, cement, glass. He also said sanitary facilities like toilet and bath tabs usually hike the price.
 
“Building materials make up 80% of the costs of the houses. If the costs of materials reduce, the costs of the houses can come down by 20%,” Semaganda said.
 
The project involves construction of 90 units consisting of single (sh115m), double (sh230m) and three bedroomed (sh270m) houses.
 
These will be constructed in 6 floors for a period of one year. Sitting on one acre of land, other facilities include underground parking, swimming pool, gym, children’s playground, a supermarket, pharmacy, 24-hour camera surveillance and a stand by generator. 
 
 

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