The City of Kigali needs to build 18,000 affordable houses per year in order to meet accommodation demand from its residents, its Mayor Pudence Rubingisa has said. He however indicated that only 1,800 affordable houses were built in the last three years. Such data imply that only 600 affordable houses were built per year, representing a mere 3.3 per cent of the 18,000 that should be put up annually. Rubingisa made the disclosure on Thursday, May 25, during a session with the Lower House's Committee on Land, Agriculture, Livestock, and Environment. The session was looking at impediments to the affordable housing programme in the country. ALSO READ: City of Kigali to use $70m to upgrade major unplanned settlements Meanwhile, the Mayor said that there are about 7,500 houses still under construction. “I would say that we have a huge demand; we have to build 18,000 every year,” he said, indicating that there is a need for public-private partnerships as well as technologies that can contribute to fast-tracking the construction of many affordable houses in an efficient way. He was responding to MP Jean-Pierre Hindura, who wanted to know the number of affordable houses that the City of Kigali has to build per year, with a view to meeting the demand. Hindura said that the demand for housing in the City of Kigali seems to increase further because of the influx of people who come from other parts of the country in search of livelihoods – and those people do not own houses in the City. Overall, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda as a whole need at least 2.1 million housing units by 2050, under the country’s 30 year-vision which started 2020 which started in 2020. It means that the country’s housing demand stands at 70,000 a year – with Kigali accounting for about 26 per cent (or a quarter) of it. ALSO READ: Govt mulls direct investment in low-cost housing projects Rubingisa told lawmakers that entities including the Rwanda Housing Authority and various partners started introducing technologies that fast-track house construction, including prefab–building with construction parts that have been made (in a factory) or prefabricated, and then quickly put them together at the site. He said that 70 per cent of the City of Kigali residents live in slum-like settlements, while only some 30 per cent live in decent settlements which are urbanised, and have access roads and water drains among others. MP Marie-Claire Uwumuremyi commended the housing model in Nyarugenge District’ Gitega and Kimisagara sectors, whereby some residents who were living in slums near Mpazi drain, were offered upgraded settlements. She asked whether there are no plans to extend it to other parts of the City where people are living in slums. ALSO READ: Mpazi high-risk residents to move into upgraded homes For her, the approach can help ensure better accommodation for residents and prevent the damages that might result from disaster-prone areas or high-risk zones. Rubingisa said that the City is working with various partners to implement the Mpazi model in other places, in order to solve the unplanned settlement problem.