The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban development, Judith Nabakooba has asked the different players in Uganda’s real estate industry to look out for solutions towards the housing needs of low income earners in a bid to bridge Uganda’s housing deficit.
Nabakooba who was speaking at the launching of Buildnet’s Olive Homes Apartments in Naalya on October 29 said that the key players in the real estate industry must work together to ensure that they extend opportunities to all Ugandans regardless of their incomes to be able to have a place they call a home.
“Everyone wants to have a good house and an affordable house, everyone wants to live in a well-planned and safe environment. Working together with private investors like Buildnet, I am sure that we will be able to solve the challenge of housing shortages,” she said.
The minister said Buildnet is one of those companies that are defining Uganda’s real estate industry and as the ministry, they value the role being performed by the real estate industry.
She explained that Uganda still has a deficit of more than 8 million housing units and as a government, they are looking at several stakeholders to fill this gap including the real estate industry.
“I therefore must commend the work and investment being done by Buildnet towards solving Uganda’s shortages in housing. As Government, we are doing our best to ensure that the Real Estate Industry thrives,” she said adding that government has already put in place all the relevant policy and legal frameworks including the National Land use Policy, 2009; National Land Policy, 2013; National Housing Policy, 2018; and the National Urban Policy, 2016.
According to Nabakooba, the Government is also working hard to ensure that other vital sectors that support the real estate industry such as roads, security, access to water and power are all taken care of.
“My Ministry is also working hard to ensure that we streamline land purchase and verification processes by taking all the processes online. The online processes will help us a lot in ironing out cases of fraud that have become rampant in this industry.”
The minister said that much as Uganda is now enjoying the best real estate environment in the region and the entire Africa, there are a few things she recommends in order for the real estate to realise its best potential.
“Strengthening Self-Regulation and Management as an industry. As a key sector, you have so many individual players like brokers, investors. The industry must be able to have basic professional codes of conduct,” she says.
She adds: “The industry must be able to have a system that stipulates punishment for those who go against the code of conduct. Members of the public must be in position to know where to report in case a real estate agent fails to provide the agreed upon services. The real estate industry needs to win the trust of the public in order for it to realise its best possible outcomes.”
In his remarks, Dr Ibrahim Ssemaganda, the executive director Buildnet thanked the minister for the enabling policies that allow private players in the real estate industry to create change. He pointed out that their quality and finishing projects in stipulated timelines is what defines their construction operations.
“We do not just simply put a roof to your head but we ensure that our apartments are built to quality. We pay attention to detail to build lasting structures,” he said.
Dr Ssemaganda added that as buildnet, they believe in quality with long time value.
“Today we have handed over 24 apartments (17 with one bedroom and seven with two bedrooms. We started construction in August last year and ended in October 2022. We are yet to hand over another 120 apartments, Najjera Heights and Raven apartments."