Government calls for partnership to address 2.4M housing deficit

By Our Reporter

The government has called for partnership with the private sector through the Ministry of Lands to address the housing deficit that the country is currently grappling with.

While opening the construction sector dialogue at UMA head office in Lugogo ,  Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands underscored the need to collaborate and address the challenge of housing deficit which needs serious attention. Nabakooba said Uganda has a housing deficit estimated at 2.4 million units .

“We need to  develop appropriate designs and technologies to address the housing shortage. The deficit should be seen as a market for construction materials under the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) arrangement,” she stated.

Nabakooba also condemned the increasing environmental degradation which she said scares away probable investors to establish development structures on the land. She asked for measures to be undertaken to ensure that environment protections is adhered to.

“The fragmentation of land  discourages investors who are looking for bigger portions of land at affordable prices. This needs to be given a serious thought if our industry is to realise its full potential in the development of our country,” she said.

The environmental degradation according to her is pioneered by real estate or construction sector players and is estimated at 40 percent.

“I urge sector players to undertake internal self-regulation mechanisms of ensuring that environmental issues are taken seriously and protected. If we do not preserve our environment, we shall not be able to realise the desired economic breakthrough,” she added.

The minister noted that land speculation and fragmentation also need serious attention. She revealed that this is mainly  promoted by real estate players. She said that speculation discourages investments on land because it puts the price of land abnormally high.

Nabakooba pledged government’s commitment to ensure that the policy on environment is improved such that the voices and interests of investors are well taken care of at all levels.

She noted: “Government is prioritizing investment in critical infrastructure projects such as roads, power generation, airports and investment capital through Uganda Development Bank. All these will ensure that the sector players in construction realise their potential and return on investment in a timely manner.”

The construction industry contributes over 12 percent of Uganda’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has witnessed steady growth for the last 20 years.

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