IFC inks low cost housing deal with local developer

Apartments. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a deal with a local real estate firm to develop affordable housing units in Mombasa County.

Under the deal, IFC, the World Bank’s private investment arm, will identify suitable international strategic partners for Belco Realty LLP and provide the company technical support to develop the project.

The partners identified by IFC are expected to invest equity of up to $12 million (Sh1.3 billion) in the project.

The project sits on eight acres in Kongowea, Mombasa City and entails development of a complex consisting of 1,379 residential units and over 4,500 square metres of retail and commercial space.

“Developers often target the high-end market, but this project is aimed squarely at the lower-income bracket,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.

IFC said that the development, dubbed Kongowea Village, will foster inclusive community living and act as a city regeneration catalyst.

It will incorporate the latest technologies in passive cooling, energy efficiency and water conservation to support sustainable urbanisation.

“Affordable Housing offers a unique investment opportunity to positively impact whole communities whilst attaining the highest standards of sustainability to help push cities towards a circular economy,” said Vijay Patel, Managing Partner of Belco.

IFC said helping Belco identify the right partners for the project will attract more developers to Kenya and other parts of Africa to help meet rising demand for housing.

The global financier’s partnership with Belco is part of its broader strategy to support better access to affordable housing in Kenya.

In 2020, IFC invested $2 million (Sh216 million) in equity in the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) to help increase access to affordable mortgages and support home ownership in the country.

Creation of KMRC is part of the government’s ambition to deliver 500,000 houses in major towns across the country by the end of next year.

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