Sunday 21st April 2019
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Africa’s housing crisis worries Shelter Afrique

Majority of African countries are facing housing crisis due to high population growth, increased urbanisation and low supply of affordable housing, the Pan-African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique, has said.

Daniel Nghidinua
Shelter Afrique Chairman, Mr Daniel Nghidinua

A statement signed by Mr Mike Omuodo, Media Director of Shelter Afrique, on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 said this was made known in Nairobi by its Chairman, Mr Daniel Nghidinua, at the inauguration of Karibu Homes, a low-cost housing project financed by the organisation.

Nghidinua said the situation was compounded by lack of affordable housing finance, high cost of urban land and weak tenure security, rising construction costs, and rapid growth in slums.

“The organisation is now calling for a stronger public-private-partnership to address the shortage.

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“These high growth rates have given rise to a surge in the demand for urban infrastructure and housing in urban areas. Unfortunately, urban planning and investment in housing are often lagging behind, resulting in housing deficits.

“The surge in demand for housing in turn has driven up housing prices and often pushed quality housing out of reach for the majority, especially the poor, low, and middle-income households,” Nghidinua said.

Nghidinua noted that even though the housing backlog was a challenge, it wasn’t insurmountable, adding that Shelter Afrique was committed to affordable housing for all in Africa.

He said that the organisation was keen on forging smart partnerships aimed at creating growth with scale.

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“We believe this challenge represents an opportunity for coordinated actions and investments by various governments, private sector players, and communities across the continent.

“Through smart partnerships we want to focus on the lower end of the affordable housing market chain to be able to address this housing crisis,” Nghidinua said.

Shelter Afrique Managing Director, Mr Andrew Chimphondah, said several countries in the continent were facing huge housing backlog, adding that urgent action was needed to stave-off the crisis.

“It doesn’t matter which country you are referring to any more. Uganda is facing an annual deficit of 1.6 million housing units.

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“Kenya two million housing units, Tanzania three million housing units, South Africa three million housing units, and Nigeria 17 million housing units.

“Wherever you go, it’s a crisis and it is incumbent upon us to heed the call to action,” Chimphondah said.

In a recent report, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) blamed the huge housing deficits in Africa to poor response of governments to the issue and ignorance by governments on the housing issue and land delivery systems.

UN-Habitat in the report blamed the deficits to urban planning and poor organisation of construction sectors in most African countries.

The report also stated that the continent requires four million housing units per year to cover its housing needs.

By Emmanuella Anokam

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