Habitat for Humanity Uganda (HFHU) is dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1982, HFHU has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 8,100 housing units in Uganda, providing simple, affordable shelter for over 60,000 individuals in 20 districts.
Uganda has about 6.82 million households living in 6.2 million housing units, with an average household size of 6 persons (2012 estimate). There is a total backlog of 1.6 million housing units of which 900,000 are sub-standard houses or structures which were never meant for human habitation. About 210,000 units are in urban areas, the remaining 1.39 million units are in rural areas. The annual need for new housing is estimated at 200,000 (135,000 rural and 65,000 urban). The estimated construction rate of reasonably good houses is at 60,000 housing units (40,000 rural and 20,000 urban). By 2020, the population of Uganda is estimated to reach 49 million and the housing need will be about 3 million units.
In Uganda, 900,000 of 1.6 million housing units are sub-standard houses or structures which were never meant for human habitation.
In order to reach many more low-income families and keeping pace with Uganda’s growing population, HFHU adopted a two pronged approach to housing intervention – a Vulnerable Groups Housing Programme and a Housing Microfinance Programme.
The programme seeks to reach orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and care-givers or families taking care of children orphaned or rendered vulnerable by war, HIV/AIDS and other causes. For each of these families, Habitat’s intervention includes provision of a home complete with a rain water harvesting system and a tank, and a ventilated improved pit-latrine (VIP) attached to a shower stall.
Other assistance provided includes training on HIV/AIDS, succession planning (inheritance rights), provision of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITMN) and other relevant life skills. The programme is currently being implemented in Eastern Uganda districts of Mayuge and Kumi and in Kiryandongo district in Western Uganda, for the survivors of the 2010 landslide in Bududa district.
A credit transaction with low-income families to help finance their housing needs. The programme is divided into two projects: wholesale lending and retail lending respectively.
Wholesale lending: The long-term objective of this project is to influence the Micro Finance Industry in Uganda to take on HMF as a viable loan product. The short-term objective is to assist families improve their housing conditions using microfinance institutions (MFIs) as implementing institutions. If mandy MFIs are offering housing loans, it will increase housing options for 80% of the countries’ low-income families. Our current partnership is with ENCOT MFI in south-western Uganda.
Retail Lending: Under Retail Lending, HFHU directly offers Home Improvement Loans (HILs) to families in Luwero district and Buikwe Districts. Direct lending ensures that HFHU not only reaches more families but also constantly keeps abreast with opportunities available and challenges to housing by low-income groups.
“I still cannot believe that this house is mine. No more cracks in the walls, no more worries about those floods which ever reminded us of the disaster.”
-Berna | Eastern Uganda
In March 2010, the Bududa landslide disaster stunned the country and led to the death of more than 400 individuals and displaced more than 620 families in eastern Uganda. Berna’s husband was one of the victims who died in the landslide. Berna had built a small one-room house for herself and her four children. The walls were made of mud and wattle and the roof was covered with tarpaulin. The walls had holes and cracks and the family lived in fear that strong winds would make the house collapse. HFHU built a new four-room house for Berna. She said: “I still cannot believe that this house is mine. No more cracks in the walls, no more worries about those floods which ever reminded us of the disaster. Imagine rain is now a blessing and not a curse.”