Parliament adopts bill to establish housing authority

The House of Deputies on Friday adopted the law establishing the National Habitation Authority, the body to regulate housing in urban and rural areas and the appropriateness governing organization of the settlement and urban planning.
Linda Bihire
Linda Bihire

The House of Deputies on Friday adopted the law establishing the National Habitation Authority, the body to regulate housing in urban and rural areas and the appropriateness governing organization of the settlement and urban planning.

The bill makes residing in settlements a must for those in rural areas and design settlement strategies for the farmers to access infrastructure like roads, water, and electricity and ICT facilities.

Speaking to The New Times, Linda Bihire the infrastructure minister said that the habitation authority will play an advisory role to the government in housing infrastructure and provide statistics on the houses and their quality to determine the budget.

“The Housing sector has been neglected for decades, this bill which has been adopted by the lower chamber, will help to regulate and control housing in the country,” Bihire stressed.

Last Monday, as the draft bill was tabled before parliament, lawmakers had raised concerns regarding compensation for expropriation.

According to Bihire, the government will try to avoid delays in expropriation and help those who still have similar problems.

She said this will be facilitated by the authority which will have representatives both at the provincial and district level.

“The Authority will help in coordination together with Kigali City, to regulate housing in the city and give out building titles. This will do away with the confusion some investors have been subjected to,” Bihire said

According to the bill, the settlements and towns will be hosting at least 10,000 families in an area of 20 square km. There will also be administrative, social and economic infrastructure.

Government will have an obligation to rollout development activities in every settlement.

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