NBS Housing Baraza attracts stakeholders to address housing deficit

NBS Housing Baraza -->
NBS Housing Baraza attracts stakeholders to address housing deficit
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Different stakeholders in Uganda’s housing sector have pledged commitment to addressing the housing gaps in the country.

They made the pledge during the ongoing 5th edition of the NBS Housing Baraza held at Motiv, Old PortBell Road.

Hosted by NBS Television, this year’s baraza is being held under the theme, “Exploring Evolving Options in Housing and Housing Finance.”

Speaking at the baraza, the State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Persis Namuganza noted that currently, Uganda’s housing deficit stands at 2.4 million units, a trend she said needs urgent attention.

The minister called for partnerships and collective efforts among housing sector players to bridge the deficit for the betterment of Uganda.

She noted that government is taking lead on this through a number of deliberate efforts such as working on a comprehensive legal framework to address the formalities in the real estate sector.

“As we talk, the first draft of the Real Estate Bill is in place, and very soon, we shall call our stakeholders for your input during the consultative process.” Namuganza said.

Reacting to the minister’s call, Michael Mugabi, the managing director of Housing Finance Bank (HFB) said they are cognizant of the housing deficit challenges and are committed to narrowing the gap.

He reechoed HFB’s commitment to providing physical solutions that will reduce the deficit including solutions that will increase demand and supply of housing units.

“Because there’s a shortage of supply of housing which also plays a role in the pricing of housing. So, we are trying to provide finance and solutions that will increase the supply of units in Uganda,” Mugabi said.

He added, “We are also causing intervention in the demand side through various solutions that enable Ugandans out there get funding so that there’s real demand and actual demand for housing.”

According to Mugabi, through their products like Zimba Mpola Mpola and giving out housing loans to some customers without collateral, they aim at providing at least 10,000 affordable units every year. This, he said is part of their five-year strategy plan.

According to Stuart Mwesigwa from Roofings Group, they are committed to offering affordable and good quality building products made in Uganda.

He also noted that customers can now get Roofings products in installments.

“On top of that, we are trying to ensure that we spread, distribute these products within Uganda. We are trying to ensure that we double our production capacity to create more jobs. That’s other way of empowering Ugandans to make sure that they can have a saving which they can invest into housing or shelter or rentals.” Mwesigwa explained.

Gideon Okurut from Plascon Uganda, said the paint manufacturing company is in line of improving real estate and building partnerships and improving stakeholders engagement.

“We have developed a 360 degree partnership where we are looking at a number of issues. We are tracking and studying the customer behavior and demands for the future, and we are constantly doing that. We are also building partnerships by training our existing partners like the painters, so that they look at the future to track the demands of the community.

On his part, Newton Karera, the director of business and strategy at Concept Real Estate told the Nile Post that one of the ways they are trying to tackle the housing deficit is by involving individuals in the diaspora that are interested in investing in Uganda’s housing sector.

He also told this reporter that they are increasing investment in a number of estates in a bid to increase their portfolio.

“We have also tried to make sure we invest in some few properties here, Model houses, we have a few in Seeta. We have some building structures that I think we can share where we are hoping people can be able to buy in terms of off plans and then on plan as well as Kigo.” Karera said.

He added, “And then therefore this conversation today is to give us very informed, researched conversation because from all the conversation you pick what works. So that when we're having another type of conversations with individuals, we're able to contribute to addressing housing deficit.”

The NBS Housing Baraza is an annual town hall-style meeting fostering dialogue, innovation, and business development in Uganda's housing sector.

The event has attracted hundreds of real estate developers, property managers, construction experts, and finance professionals to participate and showcase their offerings.

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