Shelter Afrique to fund buyers of Mi Vida affordable houses

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Pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique plans to fund buyers of affordable homes built by private equity firm Actis, with the partnership set to start in Kenya with the potential to be replicated elsewhere.

Shelter Afrique will also partly finance the construction of the projects being undertaken by Mi Vida Homes — a joint venture between Actis and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate (SPRE).

Mi Vida is developing multiple affordable housing units including studio apartments priced from Sh2.8 million.

“The partnership with Shelter Afrique builds on our existing institutional capacity to drive urban renewal and provision of affordable housing at scale,” said Samuel Kariuki, chief executive at Mi Vida.

“The partnership will explore both supply and demand side financing solutions. Demand side financing, in particular, remains a major constraint in the housing value chain and developing and rolling out products that address current challenges are a welcome boost.”

Shelter Afrique sees the partnership as an opportunity to help deliver its mandate of providing financial and technical assistance for housing and urban development in Africa.

The institution, owned primarily by governments, had assets of $167.3 million (Sh20.9 billion) in 2021 according to the latest available disclosures.

Providing financing to buyers is expected to make it easier for households to acquire properties, which would otherwise be out of their reach.

A majority of residents in Nairobi and other major towns are renters, with most urban homeowners having either paid in cash for the houses or built them slowly over months.

“Kenya, one of the most developed markets in Africa and with a population of 50 million people, has only 30,000 mortgage subscribers and the story is the same across Africa while India has a well-developed mortgage sector that’s why such a partnership is important to help us draw fundamental lessons,” said Thierno-Habib Hann, Shelter Afrique chief executive.

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