Lands Ministry moves to Popularize Condominiums amid Housing Deficit

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is considering new strategies for developers to come up with simplified versions of condominiums. This development comes amid concerns that condominiums are still too expensive and largely poorly understood by the market.

A condominium is a building structure divided into several units which can be separately owned, while the separate owners jointly own some attached facilities like the compound, staircase, play areas or swimming pool.

In Kampala, this has mainly featured flats or storied buildings divided into apartments, but it is also available in single-storey condominiums.

Dave Khayangayanga, the Director of Housing in the ministry said condominiums remain unattractive and they have lined up different players in the sector including researchers in the housing ecosystem, developers and international players to brainstorm on how to make these more affordable.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday about an upcoming housing symposium scheduled for October, Khayangayanga said that currently, even the majority of the middle class cannot afford the available condominiums which challenges advocacy for vertical development.

Noting that the main challenge for Kampala unlike rural areas is housing quantity, he says the public remains largely unaware of how the concept works and yet the few that understand it cannot afford it.

Robert Otim, the National Director of Habitat for Humanity said the challenge is partly due to financing for housing which has been problematic not just for those seeking condominiums. He says generally 60 per cent of the population cannot afford the collateral required by banks to secure loans for building homes.

Currently, seven million Ugandans are estimated to be living in indecent houses without access to proper water and sanitation. Sections of the public maintain that so far, affordable housing promotions and campaigns have not really yielded as housing remains expensive and unaffordable to many.

Now, at the symposium, Otim says they will be showcasing innovations that can allow ordinary Ugandans to own decent houses for as low as SH25 million.

At the meeting, the NGO will give out 40 such houses in Mayuge and Kumi Districts. These are two-bed room structures with a sitting room, a water source and a pit latrine.

The idea according to Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa the Board Chairperson at Habitat for Humanity, is to show Ugandans that decent housing can be achieved using basic knowledge and materials easily accessible in the community.

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