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Minister Urges Innovative Solutions to Africa’s Housing Affordability Crisis

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Shafdb Rd Agm In Rwanda
Shafdb Rd Agm In Rwanda

Addressing the severe housing affordability crisis affecting over 80% of Africa’s population, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, emphasized the urgent need for affordable housing solutions.

Speaking at the Ministerial Roundtable on “Innovative Financing for Housing Affordability,” during the Shelter Afrique Development Bank (SHAFDB) Annual General Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the minister highlighted the challenge of affordability as a moving target, making achieving the ‘housing for all’ goal increasingly difficult.

Arc Dangiwa shared insights from his tenure as Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), where he oversaw the design and financing of affordable housing units. However, he noted that rising building material costs have made maintaining affordability challenging, leading to significant increases in housing unit costs.

To address this crisis, Arc Dangiwa outlined a multi-dimensional strategy emphasizing innovative financing and collaborative efforts:

  1. Interest-Free Budgetary Allocations: Utilizing budgetary allocations for housing without interest to lower costs.
  2. Sub-National Government Partnerships: Engaging state governments to provide land free-of-charge, reducing the overall cost of housing units by up to 40%.
  3. Public-Private Partnerships (PPP): Facilitating collaborations with developers under the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Programme to deliver affordable housing units, with a portion sold at subsidized rates.
  4. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): Working with various agencies to create a N1 trillion concessional financing window to provide low-cost funds for developers, aiming to expand the scale of housing delivery.

Arc Dangiwa emphasized the importance of adopting new financial instruments and mechanisms tailored to Africa’s unique contexts, such as microfinance, mortgage-backed securities, and digital financial services, to bridge the housing deficit.

“The goal should be to create a housing finance ecosystem that leaves no one behind,” he said. “Let us challenge conventional wisdom, explore uncharted territories, and forge new pathways to make affordable housing a reality for all Africans.”

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