The African Union for Housing Finance has developed a five-point plan for governments to address Africa’s housing finance shortage.
The plan, presented at the 35th Annual AUHF Conference & AGM and the 31st International Union for Housing Finance (IUHF) World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa emphasizes the following five points:
To set and pursue explicit targets for reducing the time and cost of key statutory and administrative processes on which housing delivery depends, such as development and zoning approvals, occupation inspections, land titling, infrastructure connections, and services clearances
To strengthen property and collateral registration, maintenance and foreclosure mechanisms, improving transaction timeframes, and to ensure the transparency of the collateral registry through free access to record-level data.
To pursue macro-economic policy and financial regulation and taxation conducive to long-term, local housing investment, focusing explicitly on interest rates and inflation targets, as well as other measures that lower maturity premiums and credit risk premiums, and leverage the use of collateral value.
These measures, as well as explicit attention to local long-term capital (pension funds, institutional investors), will further stimulate investment and the availability of affordable housing finance.
Supply of Land
To support the affordable housing delivery process through enabling or otherwise incentivizing the supply of well-located land and bulk infrastructure.
The Data Agenda
To support the data agenda for Africa, agreeing on mortgage lending and other housing-related reporting standards to enable cross-country comparability, supporting the development of an effective and comprehensive credit reference system that efficiently covers all financially active consumers and stimulates market transparency, and explicitly supporting principles of data transparency and regular reporting.
The three-day conference brought together 212 delegates from 33 African countries. The discussion stressed the need for international development finance institutions (DFI) and other development agencies to target affordable housing and pursue innovation that shifts investors’ focus on affordable housing.
The conference also produced the Cape Town Declaration for Housing which called on governments at the regional, national, state or provincial, and local levels to actively support the vision for adequate, decent and affordable housing for all across the continent, by introducing measures that stimulate long-term finance for affordable housing as an investment target.