Lands Ministry, Habitat for Humanity Uganda partner to provide access to affordable housing in informal settlements

By Gloria Kembabazi

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) has joined Habitat for Humanity Uganda (HFHU) and other development partners in the housing sector to support access to decent, affordable, and inclusive housing while addressing affordability, habitability, and tenure security in informal settlements.

Ms.Judith Nabakooba, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development ,said that the  World Habitat day which will be held on October 5th,2023 is an opportunity for countries, communities and all stakeholders in the housing sector to reflect on the state of human settlements and the fundamental human right to adequate shelter. It also serves as a reminder to the world of its collective responsibility towards the future of human habitats.

Nabakooba was briefing the media about the World Habitat Day at the Uganda Media Center. The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day is “Resilient urban economies: Cities as drivers of growth and economic recovery.”

According to Hon. Nabakooba, this theme highlights the importance of governments and stakeholders in positioning their economies and activities to benefit residents.

Uganda will join the rest of the world to hold its official World Habitat Day 2023 celebrations with the second edition of the Uganda Housing Symposium on Thursday, October 5th 2023, at Mestil Hotel and Residences in Kampala.

“The Uganda Housing Symposium is a high-level gathering of like-minded individuals. It will bring together national and international heads of key organizations, high-ranking government officials, cultural leaders, property developers, real estate investors, regulators, academia, manufacturers, financiers, contractors, and outstanding members of society,” minister said.  

Nabakooba explained that the symposium aims to discuss practical solutions to affordable housing. “The symposium will provide a platform for showcasing and discussing innovative solutions for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and decent housing,” she added.

“The symposium will also address cross-cutting issues such as gender and youth engagement in the housing sector, share best practices in delivering affordable housing, establish partnerships between the government and the private sector, and develop appropriate designs and technologies to address the housing shortage,” the minister added.

Mr.Robert Otim, the National Director Habitat for Humanity Uganda, said that the need for affordable housing is pushing millions of urban residents into informal settlements.

“Globally, by 2030, one of every 7 persons will be living in informal settlement. Uganda as a country has 65% of its urban residents within informal settlements and the trend continues to grow as we face the fastest young population growth and the movement of youths to urban centres in search of opportunities,” he said.

Otim further stated  that Habitat for Humanity recognises the fact that most of our affordable labour are residents of informal settlements and for this labour to contribute meaningfully to economic growth, affordable housing is their starting point.

“For this reason, we are dedicating this year’s annual housing symposium to be held under the theme:  Affordable Housing in Urban Informal Settlements as a Driver for Economic Growth,” he said.

The Uganda Housing Symposium provides a platform to financial institutions and organisations involved with technology solutions to showcase low-cost housing products that reduce the overall cost of building a house.

“At the symposium, organisations get a chance to show case low-cost housing products, the low-cost urban prototype and the use of ISSBs, financial products for affordable housing and the research that shows reduced malaria incidences for people living within decent housing among other technologies which are already changing the game of owning an affordable house.”

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