Lands minister Judith Nabakooba has presented a new bill to cabinet dubbed ‘The Real Estate Bill’ to help regulate operations of the different housing companies in Uganda.
The revelation was made at the 2nd National Housing Symposium which also marked the World Habitat Day celebrations at Mestil Hotel in Kampala on October 5.
In the revelation, Nabakooba noted that the bill is a few steps away to being approved by the parliament.
“I presented it to the cabinet some time back and they approved its principles but tasked us to expound on our consultations and benchmarking in a few countries on how they are running their real estate services,” she noted.
Upon this cabinet’s directive, the minister noted that a team from her ministry went to South Africa, India, and Kenya to carry on the exercise of bench marking.
“They returned the bill for drafting in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and it is almost getting out of there. Once it comes back to the ministry, I will take it back to cabinet for further discussion and if they are satisfied with our consultations, then we would be good to go in parliament,” she explained.
The bill, according to the minister entails regulation of the real estate industry and guides on what is supposed to be in its administration. She said this will work for both the private and the public companies.
“It provides for how the industry should run, who should govern it, what are the parameters for it to operate. What we want is to make it more sustainable for the population but also to government because right now, real estate is not regulated,” she explained.
Due to the absence of policies that regulate the real estate business, the minister said many people have started up their companies that are posing a great challenge on the ground and once the law is in place, it will regularize and also make sure that it guides on the practices of the real estate industry.
Nabakooba also noted that the lands ministry is in negotiations with the ministry for Finance, Uganda Revenue, and the Kampala Capital City Authority to make sure that property rates are revised for housing to become favourable and people to be in position to pay for their rates.
The symposium was organized to pave way for easy access to decent and affordable housing.
Mr Maurice Makoloo, the Africa area Vice President of Habitat for Humanity lauded the lands minister for the immense partnership and the relationship of the government with their organization.
“We are reflecting on the cities as drivers of economic growth. It is our responsibility for shaping the future of cities in regard to sustainable development. I therefore thank the government for a good working relationship with the private companies to develop housing.”
The day encompassed a number of activities including an exhibition where different companies showcased innovations that protect biodiversity.
Mr James Tanga Olwoch, a construction specialist at Habitat for Humanity showcased an innovation of a prototype house that was launched early this year.
According to him, this innovation reduces the cost of building a house and as well as conserving the environment.
“We know that most of the houses in Uganda are built using burnt bricks. And this means you need to first cut down trees to burn the bricks. These interlocking bricks use murram mixed with cement and sand and you don’t need to plaster your house,” he said.