Rwanda’s Capital Market and City of Kigali studying to address financial problems of city housing costs

The City of Kigali (CoK) and the Rwandan Capital Market Authority (CMA) are studying moves to spearhead a financial scheme to enable residents in unplanned settlements within the city to move into a decent modern housing.

The scheme which is under study, will also enable modern buildings as planned in the Master Plan of the City of Kigali. The study is expected to be completed by end of the year 2015

A consultant, Dr Darin Gunesekera who set up the Real Estate Exchange (REEL) in Sri Lanka and was a CMA Kenya Advisor in the past has been engaged through IFC/ World Bank to study and develop a proposal in this regards.

At the meeting, Dr Darin explained a methodology called “Social REITs” for this purpose. It has been successfully used to convert unplanned settlements into regenerated planned parts of cities like Sri Lanka and Philippines.

The CoK and CMA shall determine whether the findings of the study can lead to fulfilling the City’s Master Plan within a reasonable time. It is their intention to reach this objective and address the challenges of unplanned settlements in the city.

The Executive Director of CMA, Robert Mathu on the importance of the capital market to address the financial challenges of the city rehousing, “Access to capital has been one of the critical issues affecting the health and long term viability of social and affordable housing in many cities in emerging countries; presently we are doing a study which seeks to find the possibility of housing schemes that would utilise Capital Market structures to enable residents to to upgrade to modern houses inline with Kigali City Master Plan.”

Fidele Ndayisaba, the Mayor of the City of Kigali, who was speaking on Tuesday during a meeting in Kigali with various partners on “Social REITs” study, said the city was looking to see how to help its citizens to get modern housing and this study will be more important to provide guidelines on how city dwellers shall afford modern housing.

He added that “Kigali has a population of about 1.3 million people now, and this is projected at 3.8 million by 2040. We are left with 50 per cent developable land, which means we must use what we are left with not only sparingly but also productively.”

Kigali Master Plan 2013 is the final step of a long planning process started in 2007. With the completion of the Kicukiro and Gasabo Physical Detailed Plans in 2013, in addition to the existing Nyarugenge detailed plan, the City now has detailed plans for all three Districts of Kigali. These detailed plans can now be referred to guide the development of individual plots.


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