The projects that are in the pipeline could help have 15,000 affordable houses built within six years across the country, Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) acting Director General, Noel Nsanzineza told The New Times.
He said investors have been urged to embrace technologies that can be used to construct houses that are also affordable to low-income earners.
“The cost of an affordable house should not be more than Rwf40 million or Rwf500, 000 per square metres. This means that a Rwf40 million house should sit on 80 square metres. In order to have affordable houses below this amount, there is a need for different technologies,” he said.
Out of 15,000 houses expected in six years, he said, 1,800 houses have recently been completed.
“There are other houses under construction. In the next two years, we hope to have 4,000 houses constructed. They will gradually increase because investors are still few,” he said.
Nsanzineza said that the government is establishing a land bank -a practice of purchasing and holding undeveloped land for investors interested in affordable housing in the future.
“This land will be given as an incentive to an investor who can build over 2,000 affordable houses within only three years,” he said.
Nsanzineza said the incentive is in addition to a $150 million fund that is providing mortgage loans at 11 per cent interest rate.
He said that investors are still few considering the number of affordable houses needed every year.
For instance, The City of Kigali needs to build 18,000 affordable houses per year in order to meet the accommodation demand from its residents, its Mayor Pudence Rubingisa recently said.
He, however, indicated that only 1,800 affordable houses were built in the last three years.
Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) has earmarked 6,100 hectares where the private sector will construct affordable houses as part of the 30-year plan to fix Kigali’s shortage of affordable homes.
A separate social rental programme (rent and rent to own scheme) is being designed to facilitate access to decent housing for low and extremely low-income earners.
In Kigali, according to data from The National Institute of Statistics, around 54 per cent of inhabitants are low-income people who earn between $38.0 and $225 per month.
Around 13 per cent of them earn less than $38 per month.
The middle-income group represents 21 per cent of inhabitants whose monthly incomes range between $225 and $678.
Generally, he said, the housing market has largely targeted high-income households, which represent less than 12 per cent of all urban dwellers.