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Shelter Afrique launches housing concept competition

By James Wanzala | Published Thu, December 22nd 2016 at 10:38, Updated December 22nd 2016 at 10:41 GMT +3

Shelter Afrique, a housing development finance institution, has launched a design competition for eco-friendly and affordable housing concepts. The competition is dubbed ‘5,000 For 5,000 Homes’. 

It is expected to boost affordable housing in Africa and see the winners take home Sh10 million.

The competition aims to lead to the development of 5,000 dwelling units at a cost of not more than Sh500,000 per unit from the successful participant’s design.

Shelter Afrique and its partners will support the financing for the development and completion of 5,000 units with the winning entry in agreed locations across Africa.

The objective of the competition is to stimulateinnovative thinking on designs for sustainable and eco - friendly homes.

Proposed designs will be looked at with key characteristics including adequate head room and floor to ceiling heights with possible options for natural ventilation; the use of eco- friendly and light weight sustainable materials to achieve low construction cost, and an easy to replicate design.

The competition is open to all the players in the housing sector including teams of designers, artists, architects and engineers among others.

According to Cytonn Investments, with the continued support of government and the finance institutions to developers, it remain optimistic that the housing deficit of 250,000 dwelling units, which majorly lies in the low-income sector will be addressed.

“However, given the high land prices, we don’t see how a housing unit in urban areas like Nairobi, which have the most need for affordable units, can be developed at a cost of just Sh500,000 given the high cost of land,” said the firm in its weekly report this week.

The market outlook points to increased housing supply as both the government and finance institutions support housing projects with increased focus on low-cost housing using various incentives.

“ In addition, we expect increased fundraising initiatives through capital markets as developers seek financing through issuance of debt instruments and Reits majorly targeting foreign investors due to the capital-intensive nature of the real estate sector,” added the report.