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July 22, 2014 by Michael Kihato | No Comments

A recent presentation by Lafarge at a housing microfinance academy they organised together the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) in Nairobi, emphasized a critical ingredient to successful housing microfinance: incremantalism. An all too common conversation between an MFI housing microfinance loan officer and a customer was re-enacted to illustrate the point: –       The customer: I want a loan to build a 100sq.m house right now, the same house as my neighbour –       The loan officer: I am sorry, you cannot afford a loan for a 100sq.m. house. Better you come when you have more revenues –       The customer: Ok … (thinking:…

July 16, 2014 by Larry Hobson | 3 Comments

The Minister of Human Settlements made her budget speech today. I made some notes for myself as there was so much content and decided it would be better to share them – hope you find at least one or two useful points among them. My occasional comments are in italics. The targets were quite neatly set out for 100 days, 12 months and 5 years respectively, which makes easy reading:   100-day targets Plan revitalisation of mining towns with Chamber of Mines, banking sector and provinces Issue title deeds for pre- and post-1994 stock N2 Gateway Project in Cape Town, to become…

May 6, 2014 by Michael Kihato | No Comments

Micro-mortgages are defined as “housing loans of long duration (generally ten years or more) that exhibit all characteristics of traditional mortgage loans (long repayment period, house as collateral for the loan, ability to foreclose and sell the house in case of default) and are small enough that they can be afforded by poor and very poor households”. The term is often wrongly used interchangeably with HMF, although from the definition above, it is clearly not HMF. But precisely what it is can also be unclear, as a brief look at products on the continent will show. UGAFODE, a microfinance bank in…

February 24, 2014 by Michael Kihato | No Comments

Housing microfinance (HMF) has its origins in microfinance lending. One important aspect of microfinance lending that HMF utilises is group lending. A group of individuals, often with social ties, bands together for social and economic support, and microfinance and HMF leverages off such groups to facilitate lending. This is why. Groups provide additional or alternative forms of security, as repayment of loans is a joint liability. This works because group reputation is at stake and future access to credit for members depends on individuals paying off their loans. Social pressure is brought to bear on individual borrowers by members of…

February 21, 2014 by Michael Kihato | No Comments

As proponents of affordable housing finance and housing microfinance (HMF), we often feel that it does not get sufficient attention in financial inclusion discourse. This feeling was rekindled when I browsed through the recently released Tanzania National Financial Inclusion Framework. It had no mention of affordable housing finance, while products such as micro-insurance, pensions, and even investment in securities are included as indicators of financial inclusion. There is mention of credit of course, along with savings, transactions and insurance, all key contributors to inclusion. Maybe housing finance is subsumed under the broad “credit” category. Either way, housing credit certainly deserves…

February 3, 2014 by Olga Koma | No Comments

South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) launched their 2014 election manifesto this month.  The promises the ruling party is making for the next five years of government are based on a longer policy conversation, the roots of which can be found in the April 2012 National Development Plan (NDP), which detailed the developmental vision of national government. Essentially the NDP is centred on 5 core pillars: Economic Development, Infrastructure Investment, Rural Development, Environmental Sustainability and Human Settlements. As I have mentioned in a blog written back in 2012: “The plan sets out three areas of focus for future policy reform:…

January 30, 2014 by Tony Olowoyeye | 6 Comments

Understanding the dynamics of housing needs and demands is a major challenge Africa has to overcome in order to meet the continent’s housing supply shortfalls and, alleviate social and economic underdevelopment prevalent on the continent. Over the years, housing has evolved from the traditional methods of building with bricks and mortar into a housing system. And like any system, housing has an impact on the economy, infrastructure development, environmental sustainability, the financial market, living standards, and the health and wellbeing of a nation. In addition, housing stores and distributes a nation’s wealth and is a major driver of the economy….

December 10, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments

The Minister of Finance in Zambia recently delivered his national assembly Budget Speech for the 2014 financial year. With a robust economy measured at 7.3% in 2012 and projected to increase to 7.8% in 2014, the minister sees this economic growth as a chance for all Zambians to also benefit from the growth. The total budget proposed amounts to US$7.6 billion which makes up 30.7% of total GDP, of which 1.5% will be directed towards Housing and Community Amenities.  The housing deficit is estimated at 1.3 million units countrywide which means that 130 000 units must be delivered annually over…

December 6, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments

Zimbabwe’s financial sector has remained resilient besides slowing GDP growth in recent years. Notwithstanding the country’s highly developed financial sector (16 commercial banks, 3 building societies and about 150 microfinance institutions), financial exclusion persists. FinScope’s 2011 survey found that 40 percent of the population were excluded from formal and informal banking. The current housing deficit in Zimbabwe is estimated at 1.25 million units, and housing supply has been made a priority by the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities. A social National Housing Policy was adopted in 2012, highlighting mass housing projects specifically aimed at low income earners. The…

November 28, 2013 by Aysha Dawood | No Comments

Mamelodi is a township located about 20 km from Pretoria, one of South Africa’s capital cities. It was developed in the early 1950s with 16 homes for black people who were removed from their homes during apartheid homes and now has a population of over 1milion. My tour guide was Dr. Mark Napier of Urban LandMark. The housing structures varied by material type and structural stability. Dr. Napier informed me that despite appearances, people continue to save money on their own to improve their homes. They often purchase small materials or scavenged materials to incrementally build at whatever capacity that…