EDITORIAL: The affordable housing puzzle is finally getting a solution

The two-storey block was fully built with materials made in Rwanda. (File)

A new residential housing block was inaugurated on Tuesday in Kimisagara Sector in Nyarugenge District, one of the areas with the most slum dwellings in the City of Kigali.

The land on which the eight-apartment block sits was provided by three of the families that were allocated condos upon completion. They were handed to beneficiaries fully furnished.

The other five beneficiaries were randomly selected from among the most vulnerable households in the area.

For those that do not know Kimisagara, it is perched on the foot of Mount Kigali and much of it is slanted, which leaves residents there exposed to disasters like mudslides and floods among others, during the rainy season.

The two-storey block, which was fully built with materials made in Rwanda, is a demonstration model that the Government, together with other stakeholders, wants to roll out across the country.

It is cheap, it ensures optimal use of land and, most importantly, it is built in a way that it withstands all disasters, even in places with a slanted topography like Kimisagara.

This is a win on many fronts and should be supported and embraced by residents by looking at the bigger picture and easily cede their land for development should such an opportunity come to their doorstep.

Secondly, and most importantly, the private sector should see the business opportunity here.

Going by the demonstration block in Kimisagara, a private developer could have easily invested in developing it to give homes to those three households that contributed land and sold the remaining five units.

Clearly, there is a business opportunity here given the overwhelming demand for affordable housing for the young working population not just in Kigali but also in other urban areas.

With the pressure on our land increasing by the day, this is a very good option because of the optimal way land is used under this model.

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