Ministry of Lands, Habitat for Humanity Launch Second Edition of the National Housing Symposium

By Sierra Arinaitwe

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) together with Habitat for Humanity Uganda (HFHU) have launched the second edition of the National Housing Symposium slated to take place on Thursday 5th, October 2023 at Mestil Hotel in Kampala.

The symposium will bring together value chain stakeholders in the housing sector and international delegates to discuss issues affecting the sector including promotion of affordable housing, investments, financing, land tenure system, among others.

The symposium will be held under the theme “Affordable Housing in Urban Informal Settlements as a Driver for Economic Growth.”

While addressing members of the press during the symposium media launch, the Director for Housing at the Ministry of Lands Dave Khayangayanga stated that the housing deficit in Uganda is at 2.4 million units further highlighting that up to nearly 7 million people require affordable housing across the country.

Khayangayanga noted that government has put in place a number of instruments and legal frameworks that guide the overall development of housing in the country such as the National Housing Policy, National Physical Development Plan, National Urban Policy among others.

“A platform such as the National Housing Symposium provides a space for discussions among the government, development partners and the media to unpack and understand the framework and share strategies on how to address the key challenges in the housing sector in Uganda,” he said.

The HFHU Board Chairperson and the Kingdom of Buganda Second Deputy Katikkiro Oweek. Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa noted that the symposium will bring together value chain stakeholders in the country to exchange ideas on how we can address issues on housing poverty in Uganda.

“This event is a platform to showcase, nurture, promote and share pilot innovative solutions that will improve the housing sector in Uganda. It will also promote enterprise development, knowledge sharing, and increase institutional and regulatory support for mainstreaming sustainability dimensions within housing projects, programs and private sector housing development,” he said.

The HFHU National Director ,Robert Otim, highlighted some of the  issues to be discussed during the symposium including financing at a microlevel, evidence based research such as technologies and strategies that will influence affordable housing in Uganda.

 “A number of our partners have already designed initiatives to address emerging challenges within the informal settlements. As Habitat for Humanity, we launched the Home Equals campaign where we appeal to actors to pull resources together to support informal communities with basic needs such as drinkable water. This will be among the discussions at the symposium,” he said.

Otim said that there will be financial institutions to share opportunities on how they intend to support financing at a micro level for people living in informal settlements.

He further noted that there will be exhibitions stalls where actors who have done research in the housing eco system will disseminate their research such as innovations of wall paint that repels vectors like mosquitoes thus helping in malaria prevention.

As part of the World Habitat Day celebrations to be held in October, Habitat for Humanity Uganda and the Ministry of Lands will be participating in a series of activities leading to the Uganda Housing Symposium which include among other launching the Parliamentary Forum of Housing and handing over 40 houses which they have built in Mayuge and Kumi using low-cost technology.

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