The Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) has announced plans to construct affordable housing units in Kigali, specifically for the low and middle-income earners. The pension agency says it hopes the project will get off the ground, mid this year, pointing out that it had secured assurances from some commercial banks that will support the scheme by providing mortgages.
The institution is known for putting up high-rise buildings for both commercial and office purposes in Kigali and other major cities around the country, as well as high-end estates which are out of reach for low-middle income earners.
While these projects constitute wise investments for RSSB as there is readily-available demand, it is equally smart to embark on projects that will not only rake in profits, but will also provide housing for the emerging middle class.
Nonetheless, it is obvious that RSSB can only make a modest contribution towards addressing the housing shortage, particularly in the city. This calls for more actors, especially private companies in the real estate business, to appreciate the need to help address the challenge by investing in more affordable houses. Commercial banks too should consider mortgages as an important aspect of their products, while regulators should ensure that the real estate industry is streamlined.
And, in order to make the most of the available land, it is important that the developers consider building apartments.