The construction of three blocks of storied houses that will, each, rehouse at least 25 families will start in May, the Mayor of the City of Kigali, Pudence Rubingisa, has said. ALSO READ: Mpazi high-risk residents to move into upgraded homes He was speaking after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on Friday, February 24, to reinforce collaboration in the rehousing model being implemented in the city. The partnership aims to support the successful implementation of the model piloted in Mpazi to the entire neighborhood and to consolidate best practices. The partnership will technically support and facilitate the planning, design and implementation of the rehousing approach in other parts of Kigali and the entire country. “The project will create jobs and the housing is environmentally-friendly. The houses will also be accessible to people with disabilities. We gathered ideas from the rehoused residents to come with changes in rehousing others in the following phase,” he said. This rehousing scheme involves owners and tenants in the upgrading process, including their expectations and addressing their needs in the design of the housing units and the entire neighbourhood. ALSO READ: Kigali City banks on ‘rehousing model’ to reduce unplanned settlements The model involves contribution of land from residents on which the houses are built then allocated units while the rest are distributed to other vulnerable families. He said that the project will be complete after residents who were on four hectares are rehoused on two hectares. “With the remaining two hectares, we will engage the private sector to develop mixed-use buildings with apartments and other businesses. “We will also construct a mini-market, health facility and others. We can engage the private sector in having a clinic and small businesses to serve the rehoused residents,” Rubingisa said. He said construction of three blocks could start in May and be complete in six months. The City of Kigali recently announced that it is analyzing, “the area of Gatsata and one neighborhood of Muhima” where the upgrading model could be replicated. Gatsata sector is located in Gasabo district while Muhima is located in Nyarugenge district. ALSO READ: City mulls new housing model for Muhima, Gatsata suburbs While the City of Kigali is driving affordable housing delivery, Switzerland is providing expertise gained and a wide and all-inclusive approach that looks at the entire construction value chain from materials to the neighborhood. The program facilitates the creation of employment opportunities within sustainable enterprises capable of responding to the demand for affordable housing solutions. This encompasses technical support to private operators in areas of construction materials production, construction, and training, urbanization process in unplanned settlement upgrading. The project is using cost-efficient construction technologies for low-income earners residing in high-risk zones, such as the Mpazi neighborhood and other similar neighborhoods in the City of Kigali. “After having proven together the technical feasibility of these innovations, we are happy to count on the support of the City of Kigali to strengthen the common achievements within the urbanization sector and ensure a conducive regulatory framework.” “We encourage the City to carry further and replicate jointly with its citizens this inclusive urban transformation,” said Amb Nicolas Randin, Head of the Division Sub-Saharan Africa at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.