Shelter Afrique and Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) have kicked-off the development of 2,000 affordable housing units in Nyamirambo Sector, Nyarugenge District at an estimated cost of USD131 million.
The housing units developed by Rugarama Park Estate, a joint venture between Shelter Afrique and the bank, are in accordance with the City of Kigali masterplan and the affordable housing programme under the National Housing Policy.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony presided over by Rwanda’s Minister for Housing Amb. Clave Gatete, Shelter Afrique chief executive officer, Andrew Chimphondah observed that like most countries in Africa, Rwanda was facing a huge housing backlog.
“We at Shelter Afrique believe that housing should be accessible and affordable, while homeownership is a decision that should be made at the sunrise of your life, not at its sunset. This is the promise of Rugarama, but more so the promise of Shelter Afrique, it is why we were created in the first place,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Rugarama is a sustainable integrated community development programme whose objective is to develop a high-density housing estate ( over 2700 units) that will cater for lower and medium income populations of the society, besides providing a wealth of civic and community facilities for instance schools, parks, religious sites, medical centres and commercial opportunities as well as integrating sustainable eco-friendly initiatives.
“The project is demonstrative of the guiding principles of Shelter Afrique over the last couple of years. Our 2019-2023 strategy promotes the development of large-scale developments of nothing less than 1000 units, Rugarama ticks that box,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Also speaking at the groundbreaking event, Development Bank of Rwanda chief executive Eric Rutabana said the investment was timely as there is a growing housing demand in the country.
“Shelter Afrique is the kind of partner Rwanda needs as the country embarks on provision of affordable housing to its citizens. We are happy to work with them and other partners in providing housing for the growing housing market. The housing project is expected to accommodate close to 14,000 people as well as create hundreds of temporary and permanent jobs,” said Mr. Rutabana.
Rwanda is targeting to have 35 per cent of urbanization by 2024 from 18.4 per cent in 2017, hence the need for more dwelling units. Housing experts, however say that due to various challenges, the country has not even managed to satisfy 10 per cent of affordable housing needs. The project plans to build about 2,800 affordable houses on a-42-hectare piece of land. The high-density estate has been designed to be comfortable, convenient and dignified. It will have public parks, community buildings, shops and a market place.