KIGALI - Members of housing cooperatives operating in Kigali City have called upon the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) and the central Government to facilitate them to acquire loans at lower interest rates.
The call was made, yesterday, during a one-day workshop to discuss the way forward towards the establishment of a housing cooperatives federation, in Kigali. The workshop was organised by the RHA in conjunction with the Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA).
According to Innocent Bayito, the Chairman of Goboka Housing Cooperative, based in Kibagabaga in Kimironko Sector, Gasabo District, currently, a housing cooperative pays interest rates ranging from 14 to 16 percent, observing that this rendered repayment of loans difficult.
“It is difficult to construct affordable housing due to the high cost of acquiring a bank loan. The interest rates need to be reduced to at least 5 or 10 percent,” he implored.
Bayito argued that an affordable interest rate would result in the construction of affordable housing such as apartments at reasonable prices, which would benefit the general public.
Charles Munyakarambi, the president of CODENYA, another cooperative based in Nyarugenge Sector, Nyarugenge District, said that interest rates on loans to put up residential houses ought not to exceed 10 percent, distinguishing them from commercial buildings, which easily make profits in the short-term.
The government has encouraged the public to reside in apartments as part of attempts to lessen pressure on inhabitable land.
The Director General of RHA, Esther Mutamba, said that the agency was due to conduct a nationwide campaign to encourage all Rwandans to live in community settlements (Imidugudu) to effectively and efficiently utilise the available arable land.
The Director of Planning and Cooperative Capacity building at Rwanda Cooperative Agency, Theogene Nkuranga, said there are 52 housing cooperatives countrywide, with 16 of them based in Kigali.