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Microfinance gets loan for Housing Project

20 July 2012, 11:34 Alfred Ng'ang'a

Pan African housing finance and habitat institution, Shelter-Afrique, has extended a KES 40million (US$ 500,000) low cost housing development loan to a local housing microfinance institution, Makao Mashinani in a pilot project geared at raising the market supply of affordable houses for low income earners.

The facility has been extended to Makao Mashinani Ltd for onward lending to an estimated 2,000 low income earners wishing to construct low cost houses.

The subsidized interest rate and medium term nature(7 years) facility by Shelter-Afrique, represents the organisation’s first ever facility in aid of low cost/social housing projects in Kenya and has been disbursed as a pilot credit facility to boost social development.

Speaking during an occasion to formally sign the loan agreement, Shelter-Afrique Managing Director, Alassane Ba, explained that the facility will be used by Makao Mashinani to scale up social housing finance for low-income population living in slums and informal settlements in Kenya.

Within the last three years, Shelter-Afrique, Ba disclosed has invested more than US$70million to support housing development projects in Kenya making it one of the leading housing development finance institutions locally.

With specific interest on the low income sector, Shelter-Afrique, he explained will in coming months consider and disburse similar loans as part of the firm’s commitment to expand its market reach to cover social housing suppliers and micro housing finance providers.

Alassane Ba went on to add that housing remains a basic human need.

During the signing ceremony also attended by Makao Mashinani Managing Director, Aleke Dodo and board director Jane Weru, the Shelter-Afrique team leader noted that Kenya provides the necessary enabling environment for a successful pilot of Shelter Afrique social housing programme, owing to its strong property development industry, housing finance system and commitment of the national government.

On her part, Makao Mashinani Director Ms. Jane Weru, reiterated that Kenya faces a huge challenge in terms of a real social housing supply deficit. While commending Shelter-Afrique for the facility, Ms Weru assured that the facility will help raise the supply of low cost housing solutions to enable low income earner to enjoy decent shelter.

“Given that 90% of Kenyans cannot afford developer-built housing in its current form, we are delighted that Shelter-Afrique has opted to supporting institutions that reach low-income populations through self-built and incremental building solutions, such as Makao Mashinani,” Ms Weru explained.

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