Shelter Afrique has signed an agreement with two Chinese construction firms, Amberton International Holdings and Sichuan Huashi Enterprises Corporation East Africa Limited, to scale up the development of large-scale affordable housing projects in Kenya and across Africa.
In the Tuesday announcement, the Pan-African housing development financier said the MoU which it signed with the two Chinese firms will advance its objective of providing decent and affordable housing in Africa.
Shelter Afrique CEO Andrew Chimphondah, said his company will work closely with Amberton International Holdings as a co-developer for specific large-scale, low-cost housing projects in Africa, which will be constructed by Sichuan Huashi Enterprises Corporation East Africa Limited.
He said the strategic partnership with Amberton and Huashi will provide needed experience for scaling the company’s projects across the continent.
According to experts, the growing middle class in East Africa has accumulated disposable income making them more attractive to mortgage providers.
This has created some demand for housing products in property markets. However, the fundamental shortage in affordable housing remains unaddressed for the majority of Africa’s population.
The high cost of land, building materials, financing challenges and government regulations are often the culprits in most cities in Africa.
Majority of African countries have long been facing a housing crisis with the total housing shortage estimated at 56 million housing units across the continent.
In Kenya, the rising demand for housing in Nairobi and other major cities has exerted pressure on neighbouring towns where housing supply is challenged by the unavailability of serviced land.
Mr. Chimphondah said the company is in the process of securing a few projects in Kenya with the military, the Kenya Police and the Civil Service which is set to kick off this year with more than 90 per cent being in the affordable housing bracket.
“These take-off projects will be aligned with Kenya government affordable housing plan under the Big 4 Agenda, which seeks to develop 500,000 housing units by 2022,” he said.