The Government has urged the National Housing and Construction Company to find solutions for the urban poor and rural Ugandans. The call was made by the state minister for privatisation and investment, Evelyn Anite, during the opening of over 80 Rwizi apartments in Mbarara, on Friday.
The apartments are part of 156 units that the National housing is putting up in Mbarara municipality. Anite said the Government would co-fund the construction of housing units to make them more affordable to low-income earners. She was concerned that the country is likely not to achieve middleincome status, if sectors that affect the population directly, such as housing, are not financed.
Her message was delivered by Michael Tusiime, the Mbarara Municipality MP.
“Now that most main roads have been constructed and many areas are being mapped on the national electricity grid, the Government will focus on housing and agriculture,” Anite added
. She noted that all municipalities should borrow a leaf from the Rwizi apartments project, where they can use less land for large construction, in order to save land for future use. Anite commended National housing for championing organised development and urged the Mbarara business community, non-governmental organisations, institutions and individuals to acquire condominium units as part of their investments, whose titles they can use to acquire loans.
Tusiime lauded the National housing board and management for choosing Mbarara municipality to pilot estates development. He urged the Uganda National Roads Authority to construct tarmac roads leading to the estate and asked banks to offer affordable mortgages to buyers.
Tusiime urged other developers in the district to set up structures which have been approved by the municipal council, warning that Parliament was working on a law to eliminate illegal development in urban centres. He added that the law will also not permit Umeme and National Water and Sewerage Corporation to extend services to illegal developers.
The units in Mbarara are part of the 5,000 to be constructed in Kampala and municipalities around the country by 2020, to meet the country’s demand for housing. Eng. Kenneth Kaijuka, the acting executive officer of National housing, said the Rwizi apartments go for sh169.9m for a two-bedroomed unit and sh269.9m for a three-bedroomed unit.
Benefits of estates
Kaijuka said the estates save land for agriculture and other uses, reduce conflicts associated with land, reduce costs of services, promote clean and green environment, ease garbage collection and disposal and ensure shared costs on common services.
Joseph Biribonwa, the board chairperson of National housing, said the body was committed to addressing the over two million housing deficit that the country is facing. He thanked Mbarara municipal authorities for leasing land to National housing and commended Uganda Development Bank for funding the project. Biribonwa urged the Government to fund National housing, in order to pave way for the construction of affordable units for ordinary Ugandans.