The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa originated as a division of the FinMark Trust, a non-profit trust with a mission of ‘making financial markets work for the poor’. In May 2014, CAHF was established as a not-for-profit company in terms of South African company law, independent from the FinMark Trust. The vision of CAHF is an enabled affordable housing finance system in countries throughout Africa, where governments, business, and advocates work together to provide a wide range of housing options accessible to all. CAHF’s mission is to make Africa’s housing finance markets work, with special attention on access to housing finance for the poor. We pursue this mission through the dissemination of research and market intelligence, supporting cross-sector collaborations and a market-based approach. The overall goal of our work is to see an increase of investment in affordable housing and housing finance throughout Africa: more players and better products, with a specific focus on the poor.
Our work covers four main areas: (1) understanding the housing asset, (2) monitoring housing sector performance, (3) exploring innovation in housing finance, and (4) supporting housing finance market development. Valuing innovation, evidence-based decision-making, collaborative networks, and local expertise, we focus on promoting the opportunities to be found in under-served housing markets across Africa, with a specific focus on the SADC region. As part of this approach, CAHF regularly undertakes and commissions research; develops market intelligence on country and regional housing markets; hosts forums, strategy discussions, and workshops; and participates in local and international conferences and debates on housing finance. The Centre also provides strategic and secretarial support to the African Union for Housing Finance, and is a founding member and driver of the African Housing Microfinance Initiative.
Since its formation, the CAHF has come to be known as the most comprehensive and up to date source of information on housing finance in Africa. Its research and other material is regularly used by investors, lenders, pension funds, and other financiers; legal practitioners, researchers and academics; policy makers and other housing finance practitioners to scope and pursue the opportunities for extending access to housing finance across Africa. As a thought leader in the sector, CAHF is a respected advocate for financial inclusion in housing finance in Africa. Our work is available on our website: www.housingfinanceafrica.org. We also host a Facebook page and tweet regularly (@keciarust).
Kecia Rust is the Director and founder of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF). She is a housing policy specialist and has worked with both public and private sector practitioners in promoting access to affordable housing and housing finance in Southern Africa for the past 20 years. She was the Housing Finance Coordinator at the FinMark Trust from 2003-2014, during which time she established CAHF, and was appointed as the Secretariat for the African Union for Housing Finance – a role that CAHF continues to play. Over the span of her career, Kecia has consulted and undertaken research in affordable housing finance, residential property assets and property markets, rental and social housing, and the creation of sustainable human settlements, among other issues. Kecia participated in the Wharton School’s International Housing Finance Programme, in Philadelphia, USA, in 2007. She holds a Masters of Management degree (1998), earned from the Graduate School of Public and Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand.
Adelaide Steedley is the director of CityMark, within the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance. Originally from Atlanta, USA, Adelaide has spent her entire career in the community development field. For most of that time, she has worked for US-based national non-profit mission-driven organisations that assist community-based organisations to expand the availability of affordable housing for low income families in communities across the country. Her responsibilities have ranged from overseeing construction and development, to underwriting the city of Boston’s public investment in large scale multi-family housing developments, to managing the allocation of funding to city-wide and regional affordable housing initiatives in a wide variety of social, political and economic contexts. She has also supported the development and implementation of public private investment instruments to facilitate capital investment in housing with banks, insurance companies, foundations and local partners. Adelaide has a master’s degree in city planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and in 2008 became a life fellow of the Emerging Leaders Program, a joint fellowship of Duke University and the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.
Michael Kihato is a consultant to CAHF, providing support as the coordinator of the African Housing Microfinance Initiative. He has providing such support to CAHF since 2009 and has undertaken research on housing microfinance, infrastructure finance, and was the author of CAHF’s first Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook, published in 2010. A Kenyan citizen, he is a qualified lawyer and development planner, with extensive research experience in housing and housing finance, municipal finance, spatial planning and land use management, and land reform. He has worked in South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and Malawi.
Allan Simiyu Kundu is a consultant to CAHF, providing support in terms of the housing investors dashboard and other data-driven projects. He is currently a doctoral student with the University of the Witwatersrand’s Business School, with a special research in the role of data in promoting the development of mortgage markets across Africa. He is an assistant lecturer at Moi University in Kenya (currently on study leave) where he has taught courses in business management, financial risk management, corporate finance, taxation, and so on. He has a Master in Business Management (Finance) from Moi University, and a Bachelor of Business Management majoring in accounting and finance, also from Moi University, where he obtained a second class honours upper division.
Miriam M. Maina is a consultant to CAHF, providing support to CityMark as a Data Analyst. Miriam is a doctoral student with the University of the Witwatersrand, with a special research interest in the use of geospatial data to support urban development in Africa. She is competent in social methods of research and data collection, adept at mapping, social research and documentation, and a creative analyst with a good understanding of property markets. Miriam has an MSc in Town and Regional Planning. Her BA in Urban and Regional Planning was achieved at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
CAHF is grateful to its funders and partners for their support.
FSD Africa is a £35 million financial sector development programme, or ‘FSD,’ created in 2012 and based in Nairobi. It is funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). FSD Africa aims to reduce poverty across sub-Saharan Africa by building financial markets that are efficient, robust and inclusive. FSD Africa is a market facilitator or catalyst. It applies a combination of resources, expertise and research to address financial market failures and deliver a lasting impact. FSD Africa has a mandate to work across sub-Saharan Africa on issues that relate to both ‘financial inclusion’ and ‘finance for growth.’ FSD Africa is also a regional platform. It fosters collaboration, best practice transfer, economies of scale and coherence between development agencies, donors, financial institutions, practitioners and government entities with a role in financial market development in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, FSD Africa provides strategic and operational support to the FSD Network.
The National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) is one of several Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) created by the South African Government to sustainably improve on the socio-economic challenges of the country. The developmental financial focus of the NHFC is specifically about finding workable models on affordable housing finance for the low- and middle-income target market.The NHFC was established in 1996, by the then National Department of Housing (NDoH), to offer housing finance, project facilitation and technical assistance to private and public entities ensuring availability of housing stock for the target market. As a means of sustaining its funding programs, the NHFC searches for better ways to mobilise finance for affordable housing from sources outside the state in partnership with the broadest range of organisations. The NHFC, in the affordable housing finance market sector, adopts a role of financier, facilitator and innovator, to ensure viable housing finance solutions; growth of sustainable human settlements; and mobilisation of relevant partnerships, through enhanced insights and knowledge gained.
FinMark Trust, an independent trust based in Johannesburg, South Africa, was established in 2002, and is funded primarily by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID) through its Southern Africa office. FinMark Trust’s purpose is ‘making financial markets work for the poor, by promoting financial inclusion and regional financial integration’ as well as institutional and organisational development, in order to increase access to financial services for the un-served and undeserved. FinMark Trust commissions research to identify the systemic constraints that prevent financial markets from reaching out to these consumers and by advocating for change on the basis of the research findings.
The African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) is an association of forty mortgage banks, building societies, housing corporations and other entities involved in the mobilisation of finances for the development of shelter and housing on the African continent. The AUHF is a non-governmental association and has its presence in sixteen countries across Africa.