Africa needs 1.4 trln USD to plug affordable housing deficit

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-13 18:35:32|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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NAIROBI, Aug.13 (Xinhua) -- Africa needs more than 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars funding to effectively address the affordable housing deficit, a pan-African housing development financier said here on Tuesday.

The majority of African countries are facing a housing crisis as a result of high population growth, increased urbanization, poor urban planning, dysfunctional land markets, rising construction costs, proliferation of informal settlements, and underdeveloped financial systems, said Andrew Chimphondah, managing director and chief executive officer of Shelter Afrique.

The firm's research showed that the overall shortage of housing in Africa is estimated to be 56 million housing units.

Out of this, he said, more than 90 percent, or 45 million units, are in the affordable housing bracket.

"This means that for Africa to fully address the issue of affordable housing shortage, at an average construction cost of 25,000 U.S. dollars per unit, the continent requires at least 1.4 trillion dollars excluding the cost of the bulk infrastructure," Chimphondah said.

He spoke in Nairobi when Shelter Afrique signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), which will see HFHI assist Shelter Afrique in mobilizing capital for affordable housing.

Chimphondah said that countries with growing housing deficit include Nigeria with a deficit of 22 million housing units, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo with a deficit of three million units, and Kenya, South Africa and Madagascar with a deficit of more than two million or more.

He said with a deficit of over two million housing units, Kenya needs in excess of 50 billion U.S. dollars to adequately address the issue of affordable housing.

"This requires focused political leadership and we are encouraged by the efforts the government of Kenya through the inclusion of affordable housing as a key priority in implementing the Big 4 Agenda on the supply side, and the establishment of the Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company to improve access to mortgage lending on the demand side," Chimphondah said.

He observed that the continent will require even more financial resources as individual countries continue to record rapid population growth and higher rate of urbanization.

Chimphondah said the solution lies in a well-coordinated and collaborative effort among all stakeholders, including governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector represented by both established developers and financial institutions.

"If we do not intervene, we are going to see the surge in slums and substandard dwellings across Africa," he added.