KAMPALA — “Financiers are an important part of the housing value chain.” These were remarks made by Housing Finance Bank Executive Director Ms. Peace Kabunga, during a training on mortgages held at Kabira Country Club in partnership with Enwealth Financial Services.
The training that lasted two days, covered a number of topics that included the mortgages housing model, selecting a mortgage provider and many other key topics to assist Ugandans in learning about and taking the necessary steps to own property through mortgage financing.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the current housing deficit in Uganda is estimated at 2.1 million units, with the deficit at its highest in Kampala. In order to curtail this deficit, Housing Finance Bank has put in place interventions including 100% financing to enable the purchase or completion of residential property, partnership with low-cost housing developers, flexible loan repayments and Incremental housing which enables construction in phases as well as use of untitled land. The Bank is also actively facilitating housing support services including loans for solar and water connection.
Speaking at the training, Ms. Kabunga quoted the Center for Affordable Housing Finance (CAHF) report that stated that Uganda is largely driven by private sector-led housing development, which is unable to meet the growing demand for affordable housing. There is thus a widening deficit of housing, estimated at 200 000 units a year.
She further noted that 61% of working class live in rented houses and that 90% of households live in a rented apartment for up to 3 years and then shift. Additionally, most Ugandans build in phases for an average of 4 years as it is difficult to get money in a lumpsum. Unfortunately, most retirement packages do not support completion of a house at retirement.
On selecting a mortgage provider, Kabunga advised Ugandans to always do their due diligence to ensure that the selected provider has experience in the mortgage business, the financial strength to suit their needs and can provide an all inclusive cost for the mortgage.
Over the past few months, Housing Finance Bank has entered into partnerships with the strategic objective of reducing the housing deficit in Uganda. Innovations such as the partnership with Bulooka App allow for Ugandans to open accounts, look for properties to buy and even pre-apply for a mortgage without additional fees.