By Kingsley Adegboye, with Agency report
Pan African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Terwilliger Centre for Innovation in Shelter, the market development/system arm of Habitat for Humanity International, which will see TCIS assist Shelter Afrique in mobilizing capital for affordable housing that will be extended to institutions focusing on provision of housing loans to low – middle income population in Kenya and 43 other countries where Shelter Afrique has presence.
The collaboration formalized in Nairobi by Shelter Afrique’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chimphondah and Habitat for Humanity’s Associate Director for Capital Markets & Financial Inclusion, Ms. Elena Milanovska, at a signing ceremony, will majorly focus on the establishment of an incremental building fund for Africa, capacity building in housing microfinance, and technical assistance.
The Memorandum of Understanding MOU, signed in Nairobi now paves way for the establishment of incremental building fund to support people who cannot afford commercial mortgages but need decent housing.
The collaboration will also focus on building capacity for institutions offering housing microfinance and providing technical assistance.
In reference to the MOU, Mr. Chimphondah said the partnership now makes it easier for the two institutions to jointly facilitate efficient and inclusive housing market systems with the main objective of making affordable housing a reality across Africa, more so within the lower end of the housing market.
“Research on housing finance options for Africa conducted by our Centre of Excellence has shown that the penetration of housing mortgage throughout Africa is quite low, meaning that the mortgage might not be the right option for low-middle income population.
“This partnership with Habitat for Humanity International gives Shelter Afrique an opportunity to add other innovative ways to finance housing development in the continent”, Mr. Chimphondah said.
“Our aim is to work with entities like Habitat for Humanity International to set up incremental building fund to support people who cannot afford commercial mortgages but also need decent housing.
“We want to give Kenyans and other people in our other 43 member states the opportunity to have a dignified living and we believe this fund will make it easy for such people to access financing to build decent houses in their own area,” Mr. Chimphondah added.
Ms. Milanovska said the partnership with Shelter Afrique was a perfect match, adding that Habitat for Humanity International had established USD100million micro-build fund that supplies debt capital and techni¬cal expertise to help microfinance institutions increase the availability of housing loan products for their low-income customers.
“There is shortage of affordable housing and there is also substandard housing. Habitat for Humanity International is excited to sign this partnership deal with Shelter Afrique as we see a lot of potential in addressing the growing deficit in the provision of affordable housing in Africa. “ Ms. Milanovska said
Ms. Milanovska noted that Habitat for Humanity International had invested more than USD 4 million in Africa from the micro-build fund, adding that the partnership with Shelter Afrique will make it easy for the organization to significantly increase its investment in Africa.