Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development has announced intent to stimulate competition against government owned National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC) in a bid to bolster expansion of the real estate sector in the country.
The simmering arrangement geared at supporting emerging private real estate companies is informed by a surging demand for housing in Uganda.
Minister of Lands Hon Daudi Migereko revealed over the weekend that government’s National Housing Company had proved unable to cope with the sprouting demand for housing, and that without a much faster private sector input; the country faced a potential deserter.
The lands ministry a few weeks ago signed a MoU with finance giants Shelter Afrique to facilitate financing construction of affordable houses for social and middle income earners across the country.
Under the arrangement, credible private real estate companies will be availed with land by the ministry as well as cheap financing from Shelter Afrique and other Banking institutions on board.
“Up until now, government’s preoccupation in this sector has been with National Housing Company. Yes, we need to give them support so that they can act as an off taker, but we can’t keep focused and entirely dependent on them,” Migereko told a regional forum held by the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA) in Kampala.
Although Uganda’s real estate has been growing steadily at 5.6 percent per annum and continuing up to 7 percent of the GDP, Minister Migereko observed that the Sector is being outstripped by the rapid population growth.
“The task at hand we realize, can no longer be executed by NHCC. Government officials will go on holidays; they won’t work beyond 5pm, but if it’s a private business, people won’t go to sleep when there’s work to be done.”
The minister also expressed concern about the unrelenting practice of Ugandans individually undertaking house construction projects, noting that this be left to professional developers.
“Some people have become supervisors, making daily site visits, buying cement, iron bars and glass. This is not only time and resource wasting, but also a discouragement to our real estate sector,” he noted.
“Our job should be concentrate on making money and letting the professionals do their work.”