HF Group, Jua Kali federation partner to finance artisans

Robert Kibaara, CEO HF Group CEO shakes hands with JuaKali Contractors Federation of Kenya Chairman Joseph Muhia after signing a partnership that will see HFC provide credit access to artisans. [Standard]

HF Group, through its banking subsidiary HFC has entered into a partnership with the Jua Kali Contractors Federation of Kenya (JKCFK) that will see the lender support the federation and its members to access credit and opportunities in Kenya's real estate value chain.

The two parties are expected to create synergies in the real estate market by supporting Jua Kali artisans with value addition for their products and services.

The Jua Kali sector has been allocated preferential contracting of doors, windows and other ringfenced items for all affordable housing works by the government, but lack of financing to service the contracts has hindered the uptake of this opportunity.

Through the partnership, HFC will provide the artisans with working capital in addition to training and capacity-building opportunities including idea conceptualisation to procurement of products and services, financing, joint market research and exposure to strategic partners.

This training will leverage a partnership that the lender has with Strathmore University's Small Business Development Centers, which will facilitate the training programs.

"As a bank, our key focus is on the development of the SME sector and we are committed to strategic partnerships with the sector which plays a critical role in empowering lives, poverty eradication and the economic development of our country."

"Our partnership with JKCFK dubbed HFC Ujenzi na Makao provides tailor-made financing solutions to its members and clusters, within HFC's lending policy and is a testament to our commitment to living up to our Group's purpose of enriching lives," said HF Group chief executive Robert Kibaara.

The bank will provide a bouquet of financial solutions structured to suit the needs of all players in the affordable housing ecosystem. This includes financing for contracts in excavation, masonry, joinery, steel works, plumbing and finishings.

"The State Department for Housing welcomes HFC's support of this vision through the provision of mortgage financing, training and working capital to the Jua Kali sector to bolster their capacity to deliver in the supply chain," Principal Secretary Charles Hinga.

"We have provided access to market for the Jua Kali sector by ring-fencing doors, windows and other key inputs in the affordable housing supply chain.

"This provides a growth opportunity for the Jua Kali sector to corporatise and be the developers of tomorrow. We also intend for every Jua Kali artisan to have the chance to be a homeowner by providing affordable home financing solutions," he added.

Through the HFC Ujenzi na Makao programme, the Federation members will access working capital to facilitate works contracted for under the Government of Kenya's affordable housing project.

The Federation members have been allocated 10 per cent of all government's affordable housing units but members have faced challenges accessing financing in order to realise this benefit. The bank will bridge this gap by providing mortgage financing to enable individual members to own decent housing hence giving them dignity and enriching their lives.

The bank has set aside Sh4 billion over the next few years to finance players in the affordable housing ecosystem.