Private sector holds the key to solving housing dilemma

Editor, “Charles Haba advised government to buy housing units from developers instead of wasting money on projects that have not even materialized.” Why should the government buy those over-valued houses from private developers and for what purpose?
High-end Vision City residential houses in Kigali. (File)
High-end Vision City residential houses in Kigali. (File)

Re: Housing: Government urged to partner with private developers (The New Times May 10)

Editor,

 

“Charles Haba advised government to buy housing units from developers instead of wasting money on projects that have not even materialized.”

 

Why should the government buy those over-valued houses from private developers and for what purpose?

 

Why can’t private developers learn how to be innovative and come up with ways of building affordable houses, using cheaper materials and not concrete as shown above?

Why can’t Real Estate developers sponsor a group of Rwandan Civil Engineers so that they can carry out a study to find out how cheaper houses can be built using cheaper local materials.

In North America, most timber is used to build both high end and low cost houses. Those houses are called brick veneers (timber frames with one layer of brick outside.

We do not have a lot of timber like they do but I know we still have some of eucalyptus forests and we can easily get machinery to cut it into proper shapes and we can also easily chemically treat them to make them whether and termites resistant.

If we want to build low cost houses, we should first think about identifying cheaper local building materials (Rukarakara not being one of them)

Seth

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Thanks to Seth for this good reply! The reason government is investing in affordable housing is because private sector shuns it only going for more lucrative high end market segments.

Like any smart investments, government has to undertake its own due diligence of feasibility studies and business plans. However, private sector can take advantage, especially with Rwanda’s public private partnerships law.

If a private company is aware of land government has set aside for affordable housing, the private company should make a PPP proposal and send to the concerned agency. The PPP law copy is freely available on the internet and offers incredibly attractive win-win options for both government and private sector.

A second way is through private sector federation PSF respective chambers and/or private sector professional associations to engage the government in some of these dialogues.

Let’s hope our private sector will move fast to take advantage of available opportunities within the applicable regulations and laws.

M.G

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