Affordable housing framework
In March 2015, the National Housing Policy was adopted, with its vision being: “Everyone independent of income, base of subsistence, and location shall be able to access adequate housing in sustainably planned and developed areas reserved for habitation in Rwanda”.
The National Housing Policy strategizes in a holistic approach the way toward a positive impact on increasing employment rates, skills transfer, and quality enhancement in the local construction industry – all seen as factors contributing to a vision of increasing wealth for all. A wide approach to make housing affordable is needed. In 3 policy pillars, the document covers the aspects of access to housing, resource efficiency, land, infrastructure, skills development, enhancement of the local construction industry, construction materials and technology, townscape and liveability, and public responsibility. The Policy Pillars are: 1) Public Benefit, 2) Resource-Efficient Planning, Green Technology, and Professionalism and 3) Governance and Partnership.
The Policy provides a framework which:
-Enables the private sector to satisfy the current and growing demand for housing in terms of quantities and access costs offered to clients;
-Supports the purchase power among population through saving for housing, and pooling of individual resources;
-Supports financing models accessible to the full range of residents including low income levels;
-Emphasizes principles of quality and professionalism in both, planning and construction of neighbourhoods and housing; and
-Combines land, land use, urban planning and housing policy directions in order to achieve the efficient use of land and resources when developing housing.
The Prime Minister Instructions No 004/03 of 13/09/2015 determining the Conditions and Procedures for Obtaining Government Support for Affordable Housing Projects are a significant step toward the collaboration with the private sector in housing delivery. It is a commitment to the financing of inner-neighbourhood infrastructure from the side of the Government under set conditions. The conditions relate particularly to the profiles of beneficiaries of the housing units, to the affordability of access schemes to housing which may either look at the sales prices or affordability of financing schemes, and to resource-efficiency and local skills enhancement through collaboration with local SME’s. An Urban Development Fund, which is in design phase, is expected to facilitate the financial commitment to public infrastructure and project approvals
The Law N° 06/2015 OF 28/03/2015 Relating to Investment Promotion and Facilitation is an additional component which includes the objective of incentivizing investment in affordable housing. It offers tax incentives to investment in affordable housing, such as preferential corporate income tax rate, and accelerated depreciation for investments in construction projects.