Property developers urge govt to provide social services to ease housing pressure

Some of the officials who made presentations at a housing development forum held in Kampala. Photo by Badru Afunadula.

KAMPALA–Property developers and banks have urged government to provide social amenities like roads, piped water and electricity if they are to ease housing pressure in the country.

The call was made by Shem Kakembo, Stanbic Bank’s Head of Personal Markets, at a housing development forum held at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala.

“While private developers and banks can take the lead to initiate housing projects, there is need for developers to liaise with the local authorities and government to jointly provide social infrastructure such as roads, social amenities like piped water and electricity in areas further away from the city which will make these areas attractive and accessible to the target market,” Shem noted.

Shem further added that the goal of providing affordable housing can only be achieved by bridging the gap between access to capital and execution capability.

“Stanbic Bank has taken strides to bridge this gap by reducing mortgage rates and working to strengthen partnerships with the developers in a bid to reduce on the overall cost to borrow. This will be a great benefit for the customer who is looking for value and a cost-effective financing option for their housing needs,” Shem noted.

Aimed at forming partnerships to create more affordable housing options for Ugandans and enhancing knowledge awareness about home loans and mortgages, the forum brought together industry stakeholders, property developers, bank customers, land surveyors and prospective property buyers.

Talking about one of the new loan products the Stanbic now offers, Jackson Emanzi, the bank’s head of home loans said, “Due to market demand, the bank has also introduced land loans to cater for those intending to acquire land for new and additional developments. Not everyone has the capacity or wants to buy a finished house, many of our clients want to acquire now and build later or over time, this land loan product gives them this possibility.”

Analysing the current interest rate environment and efforts being made by the Central Bank to stimulate borrowing by reducing the CBR to a record low of 9.5% Jackson revealed, “As a bank we are firm believers in maintaining the transparency of our pricing to our clients. This is the reason why we have consistently matched movements of the CBR each time the Central Bank has made an adjustment. Using that principal Stanbic bank has reduced its Prime Lending Rate by 500 basis points since the beginning of the year. At 18% per annum Stanbic currently has the lowest prime lending rate of all banks.”

Currently, Uganda has a deficit of close to 1.2 million units and Studies indicate that by 2040 almost 60% of Uganda’s population will be living in urban areas.

The rapid urbanization is bound to put pressure on housing delivery systems which are often informal or reliant on the state.




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