Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

High quality affordable housing program launches

The Addis Ababa City Administration is to launch registration for a new affordable housing scheme shortly. The new housing is for citizens with middle incomes who can make a down payment of 40% of the home price before acquiring their house and the remaining 60% within a specific period that will be disclosed by the administration when the project is launched, Capital has learnt.
This affordable housing scheme was introduced two years ago when the government announced its five year GTP program.  
According to the government’s plan, the houses are for those who have not already benefitted from other government housing projects. Though affordable, these houses are expected to be of higher quality and more spacious than the currently undertaken condominium housing projects. According to Mekuria Haile, Minister of Urban Development and Construction, the registration for this new affordable housing project will commence in the near future.
Currently the city administration has formed an independent office responsible for this specific project. Mekuria said that most of the preconditions are already completed; such as setting the price and criteria to identify beneficiaries.
“The design of the houses is completed as well as screening for contractors responsible for building,” the minister added.
According to sources, not everyone with the capacity to meet the down payment will be allowed to register for the new option, as the scheme targets those who cannot afford to go to other private real estate companies.
“The government has set the criteria and we will disclose it when the registration is announced,” sources added. According to the plan, the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) will manage the registration and payment scheme.
To solve the residential housing problem, which is one of the major snags in the city; the government has been working on affordable housing projects for the past decade.
Low cost housing projects, popularly known as condominiums, were first introduced in the capital city in 2004 when the city administration was in the hands of former Mayor Arkebe Equbay, who is now a construction sector adviser for the Prime Minister.
But the low cost housing project is not satisfying the demand. The government has constructed tens of thousands of houses since the program was launched.
The housing scheme with a 40/60 percent payment is being introduced by the government to address the residents that are able to pay a larger amount than the condominiums.
The commencement of the new scheme will be announced at a press conference that will be led by Mekuria Haile, Kuma Demekssa, City Mayor and Bekalu Zeleke president of CBE. According to sources at the Ministry the new scheme will be introduced before the coming Ethiopian New Year, that is September 11, 2012.