Gov’t Rolls Out Ambitious Housing Plan to Help Urban Poor


Uganda government is set to roll out an ambitious project to address housing shortage in Uganda especially in urban areas, approved Chimp Corps report.

The recent housing census report shows that Uganda has a total of 7.3m households with a backlog of approximately 2 .1 million housing units.

The majority of the 7.3m households (84 percent) is for the poor and made of temporary dwellings.

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“Majority of urban residents are low income earners and currently live in unplanned slum neighborhoods that consist mostly of informal rental housing, ” said Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister Dr Chris Baryomunsi.

He said slums in Uganda are characterized by unplanned development with poor housing facilities sitting on prime lands; poor infrastructure such as roads, water, sewerage services; unhealthy conditions; widespread urban poverty; insecurity and crime.

Other characteristics are an increasing urban sprawl; congestion; and pollution and inadequate supply of social services.

The Minister Thursday spoke to journalists in Kampala ahead of the World Habitat Day celebrations on October 3.

He observed that majority of private developers who build new housing estates only provide units that are affordable to the minority of the wealthy, leaving out the majority of the urban population.

He said government is taking strategic interventions under a new policy to increase the production of adequate housing for all income groups; improve the quality of the existing housing stock; boost access to affordable housing; improve security of land tenure; and develop mechanisms for development and management of real estate industry.

The new policy also seeks to promote progressive realization of adequate housing for all and is premised on the principle of partnership, between Government, the private sector, land owners, financial institutions, cooperatives and individuals.

Under the partnership framework on policy implementation, said Baryomunsi, the Government shall support the provision of key inputs such as serviced land with access roads, electricity, water and sewerage, as well as leverage access to affordable financing for housing development.

In order to kick start the implementation of the policy, in the interim, priority will be to mainstream the construction of houses for the army, police, prisons, teachers and medical workers.

This will be under the institutional housing arrangement.

Construction of 1,000 police residential units has already kicked off at Naguru in Kampala.


The new plicy also gives priority to the establishment of a mortgage revolving fund to enable public servants access mortgages and concession interest rates.

The funds for this will come from the accrued funds from the sale of pool housing currently with Housing Finance Bank of Uganda.

Baryomunsi said the policy further promotes Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in housing development where the land owners are encouraged to provide private land for mass production of housing as well as real estate development.

Through PPP, the private sector investors and financial institutions are also encouraged to provide funding and technology for Housing Development/ Real Estate development.

“The Ministry is keen to have enough funds to promote housing development in the country because it has economic multiplier effects on economic development of the country through employment generation; poverty reduction; boosting  of building materials industries; and promotion of a secure tax base for Government,” said Baryomunsi.

The National celebrations for this year’s World Habitat Day will take place in Kampala, the climax of which shall be the launch of the National Housing Policy by the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.  


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