The Centre for Advanced Strategic Leadership (CASTLE) and the Institute for National Transformation has for the past 2 months been organizing think tank discussions to find solutions for different sectors in Uganda in support to the national response to COVID-19 in Uganda. Several sectors like Transport and Logistics, Education, Food Value Chain, Manufacturing were discussed while involving the government, stakeholders and the public to brainstorm solutions for these sectors to standout during and after the COVID-19 pandemic times.
Currently the housing deficit stands at 2.4 million housing units of which 210,000 units are in the urban centers , 1.395 million units are in rural areas and 900,000 units are substandard and in need for replacement or renovation .
During the CASTLE presentation on Housing and Settlement on Saturday, 18th July , Engineer Patrick Rubongoya hinted on a number of hindrances on the sector and key drivers for affordable housing demand. ” With COVID-19, our homes have turned into offices because they became the only safe haven a reason why we need to address the housing issues in the country” he said .Housing and settlement being one the factors that constitutes 80% of the reason why humans involve themselves in economic activities was also affected by the pandemic .
There has been an increase demand for housing in Kampala due to the demographic trend and the only players currently are the private sector who are more profit oriented making it inaccessible and to the population. Mrs Patricia Khayongo Rutiba the managing Director Dream Architects said, “As a nation we should avoid segregated housing because it’s not a solution to uniform urbanization but instead opt for mixed housing because in the end, rates are based upon the average median income for that area and the intention is to make the houses affordable“. She added on by saying that only government will make this happen if they only don’t stop at policy making but also actively participate in the enacting of these policies.
Another factor noted was focusing on affordable housing materials by use of homemade building materials other than the imports which are many times very expensive in the end making housing very affordable to the young population. Sam Wabasa said,” Many people are not embracing alternative construction materials which are cheaper making housing very expensive”. Like any other start up, provision of incentives to these housing related start-ups will motivate them to cause impact to the sector in the long run.
Its is estimated that by the year 2022, Uganda will have a population of over 48 million which will require more than 3 million more housing units and very few Ugandans can afford their own houses.