Govt partners with private firms to provide 1,500 affordable homes in Kigali City

Monday February 4 2019


Kigali’s largest slum known as Bannyahe whose residents are to be relocated to  1,040 new modern units at  Busanza-Kicukiro District. Photo | Cyril NDEGEYA 

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The use of precast technology, mortgages and government partnerships with private real estate developers will see the construction of over 1,500 affordable houses by December this year.

Kigali City faces an annual supply gap of 16,923 low-cost houses due to the low interest by developers to invest in the market segment.

Rwanda Today has leant that Savannah Creek Company, formed by Gold Capital Investments, a Kigali-based company and Finnish equity company Taaleri Africa will construct 1,040 units at Busanza by June.

The Rwf10 billion ($11.2 million) residential housing project is meant to resettle the residents of Kangondo I, Kangondo II, and Kibiraro, Kigali’s largest slum called Bannyahe.

Denis Karera, chairman of Gold Capital said the first 300 units, which were expected to be delivered in December 2018 will be completed in March this year.

The heavy rains that lasted from October to December caused the project to stall.

The tentative time to construct the remaining 740 units is June.

The Rwanda Social Security Board is expected to deliver 500 units at Batsinda in December 2019, signaling the government’s move to invest in low-cost housing.

Property management and marketing firm Century Real Estate said developers have shunned the low-end property market due to low margins. Lenders say that big capital requirements in a country where patient capital remains elusive to many developers has worsened the supply of low-cost houses.

“The low-cost market segment is not profitable,” said Charles Haba, managing director of Century Real Estate.

RSSB is piloting the precast building technology — where panels are used for building vertical walls and hollow core slabs to separate flows.

“The precast technology is faster and will also save costs,” said Richard Tusabe managing director of RSSB.

According to experts, if normal brick-and-mortar method takes 18 months to complete a project, the precast method takes four months, saving developer costs associated with delays to deliver.