National Housing and Construction Corporation (NHCC) has asked Parliament to allocate it Shs300b per annum for the next five years to lead in setting up standard estates in the newly approved cities.
Addressing Members of Parliament on the Infrastructure Committee, Eng Kenneth Kaijuka, the NHCC chief executive officer, said the Shs300b, which should be allocated per annum in the next five years (Shs1.5 trillion), will enable to set model housing estates with sufficient standards in the new cities.
“All the infrastructure investments government is undertaking, lead into housing. Investments in electricity, water, roads and industrial parks, all lead to housing and if we can organise housing the benefits may not be in physical, but [in extension to] utilities,” he said.
Mr Kaijuka said organised housing was an important aspect in streamlining cities in Uganda, many of which, because of their unplanned nature, are characterised by traffic jams, crime and large or multiple slums.
Uganda continues to grapple with an unplanned housing, characterised by high-rise perimeter walls, problematic access and difficulty in access to utilities, among others.
The challenge has been growing over time exacerbated by rapid expansion in population numbers.
Mr Kaijuka also noted that it was important that Uganda focuses on sorting out challenges in housing as it seeks to achieve the middle income status.
NHCC has been at the forefront of Uganda’s housing sector with estates in a number of locations including Kasokosoko, Naalya, Namungoona, Najeera and Mbarara.
Mr David Karubanga, the Parliamentary Infrastructure Committee chairman, said Parliament, through visits to different housing estates in Kampala, had sought to familiarise MPs with the challenges of Uganda’s housing sector as well as create a firm ground to streamline housing in Uganda.
NHCC, which was divested in 2002 with the Libyan government acquiring 49 per cent of shares and government retaining 51 per cent, has been struggling to complete a number of housing estates, some of which have stalled.