Housing sector

Government intervention is needed to develop the housing sector

Over the past decade there has been an increase in the construction industry. Real estate developers and landlords are more curious than ever about the latest housing trends that are also affordable. This is what has made the Property Show one of the most popular programs on television.

And to continue to lead the industry, the show will undergo a rebranding with founder Edwin Musiime stepping down to allow a younger team to take the show to new heights. The weekly show, designed to provide information on the real estate and housing sector, was established in 2011. Musiime says he noticed a vacuum of information in Uganda on developments in the real estate sector, modern architecture and interior designs, so he was inspired to create a show. who closed the gap.

“I had been to the US and the UK and had been amazed at the quality of real estate there and wanted to expose Ugandans to what I had seen. I realized that if Uganda was one day to be considered a fast growing economy, then something had to be done to develop the infrastructure, says Musiime.

He thanks NTV management for understanding his vision and accepting a partnership. He is proud of the show’s achievements over the past 11 years, such as its contribution to growing investor confidence in Uganda’s property sector.

“We have always spoken with different investors about Uganda as an investment prospect. We also continue to have forward-looking conversations with investors about the housing deficit in the country and let them know that there is a demand for quality housing,” he said.

The show also influenced a change in mindset of so many in the industry.

“The show has helped reshape our architectural designs in the market. When you drive around Kampala you can clearly see a big change. Time after time, people approach me and thank me, saying they built their dream home just by watching the real estate show. Some even tell me that their interior design themes were based on what they saw on the property’s living room. It’s stories like these that warm my heart,” shares Musiime.

According to Musiime, the renowned property fair led by Christabel Musiime, will focus on sustainability in housing from June 5.

“So as we rebrand the show, we have launched our 10-year sustainability plan for housing and real estate and we will now move towards providing as much information and awareness to individuals, governments and commercial landlords on sustainable housing,” Musime said.

Sustainability in general is about meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. The housing sector needs to rethink sustainable building solutions; less waste, more reuse, recycling and a focus on improved reliability for greater consumer satisfaction. This should lead to the construction of more environmentally friendly residential and commercial properties.

With Uganda’s population growing daily, land area and natural resources becoming scarcer, sustainable housing is the solution we need. Through sustainable housing, not only could we develop affordable houses and thus contain the housing deficit problem, but we can also build practical, durable and long-lasting houses.

The exterior of Edwin Musiime’s house with two balconies and exterior wall cladding finish. He says a lot of people confuse his house with a hotel. Pictures of Rachel Mabala

Musiime, however, believes that for Uganda’s property sector to make the desired transition, it needs to overcome a number of challenges.

“One of the biggest challenges we are facing right now is the inflated cost of building materials. I recently encouraged two clients to put their projects on hold as a more prudent decision. A bag of cement that was between 29 000 Shs and 30,000 Shs is now between 42,000 Shs and 43,000 Shs The prices of aluminium, steel and paint have all skyrocketed The government has not helped much on this and continues to tax construction materials and equipment heavily,” he notes.

To overcome Uganda’s housing deficit problem, Musiime believes the government needs to get more involved in the issue.

“The government must redouble its efforts to help the housing sector. While we are a private sector-led economy, some sectors require greater government intervention,” says Musiime. »

Government intervention would go a long way in creating policies that allow the industry to grow. Regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants, reform and consolidate the law relating to the rental of premises, provide for the responsibilities of landlords and tenants with regard to the rental of premises and related matters.

A number of stakeholders claim that the law undermines freedom of contract between parties and in many places because of the vaguely worded provisions. The law also protects tenants more than it protects landlords, but it should provide adequate protection for each party’s rights.

“When you look at the Landlords and Tenants Bill 2018, there are some clauses in the bill that are not favorable to investors or landlords. For example, previously the issue of rent payment in dollars or shillings was a decision between the landlord and the client, but now according to the invoice, all payments are supposed to be made in Ugandan shillings, so where does that place- the investor who borrowed in dollars? There is also the property tax which is prohibitive for investors and landlords who end up placing the burden on tenants,” explains Musiime.

He believes that the future of real estate and the housing sector in Uganda is bright, but only if the government takes a strong interest in the housing sector, including it among its main development priorities.

“The government must play an active role alongside the private sector in the growth of the housing sector. Policies to support the industry are essential and we would like to see funds allocated to the sector in the national budget as well, especially to meet the country’s needs for affordable and low-cost housing. Apart from that, we will have the same housing problems in the future, slums will get worse, the number of homeowners may remain low due to rising construction costs, investors focusing only on middle and upper income,” he warns. .

Over the past few years, Uganda has experienced stability and peace which has attracted more investors to the sector. However, strong regulation is still needed, especially when it comes to the physical planning of towns and communities in Uganda.

The Planning Act 2010 provides for the establishment of a National Planning Council; provide for the composition, functions and procedure of the Council; establish district and city physical planning committees; provide for the elaboration and approval of physical development plans and applications for development authorization; and for related matters. But its effectiveness remains to be demonstrated.

Edwin Musiime is a Ugandan media personality and entrepreneur. He started at UBC where he worked for 11 years as a television host, then quit his job to go into freelance work. He is the CEO of Olim Group, a construction and real estate company.