The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, has sounded a warning over the escalating housing affordability crisis in Africa, stressing that urgent action is needed to address the dire situation, which threatens the continent’s economic and social stability.

Malam Adamu Abdullahi, SSA Media to the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, who disclosed this in a statement, said Dangiwa voiced his concern in his opening remark at the Ministerial Roundtable on “Innovative Financing for Housing Affordability” held during the SHAFDB Annual General Meeting at the Marriott Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

Abdullahi quoted the Minister as saying that the severe housing affordability crisis is affecting over 80 percent of Africa’s population and is driven by low incomes, challenging macroeconomic conditions and rising living costs.

With each year passing by, the Minister said, the affordability bar keeps getting higher, emphasising the urgent need for affordable housing solutions.

The key initiatives, according to the Minister, include the following:

“Interest-free Budgetary Allocations: Utilising budgetary allocations for housing without interest to lower costs.

“Sub-national Government Partnerships: Engaging state governments to provide land free-of-charge, reducing the overall cost of housing units by up to 40 percent.

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“Public-Private Partnerships (PPP): Facilitating collaborations with developers under the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Programme to deliver affordable housing units, with a portion sold at subsidised rates.

“Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): Working with various agencies to create a N1 trillion concessional financing window to provide low-cost funds for developers, aiming to expand the scale of housing delivery.”

Arc Dangiwa also emphasised the importance of adopting new financial instruments and mechanisms tailored to Africa’s unique contexts, such as microfinance, mortgage-backed securities, and digital financial services.

“Traditional financing models have served us to a point. To bridge the housing deficit, we must explore and embrace new financial instruments and mechanisms,” he said.

The Minister then highlighted the significance of the Shelter Afrique Housing Solutions Fund, a N100 billion real estate investment trust aimed at catalysing investments in affordable housing through innovative market-based solutions.

He called for collaborative efforts among all stakeholders, including governments, financial institutions, developers, community organisations, and international partners.

“Our goal should be to create a housing finance ecosystem that leaves no one behind. Let us challenge conventional wisdom, explore uncharted territories and forge new pathways to make affordable housing a reality for all Africans,” Dangiwa added.

The Will