Sustainable development in Zambian housing sector

Zambia’s housing deficit stands at between two and four million homes, particularly in the middle to low-income market. Compounding the problem is a lack of access to finance for low-income families as well as a dearth of effective, affordable housing solutions for them to choose from.

It’s the perennial problem: How do people on the lower rung of the socio-economic pyramid gain entry into the housing market with the ability to build and own their own homes with repayment terms that don’t cripple their every move? Mostly, to get out of the trap of high rentals in favour of paying for an asset that offers leverage and infinitely more long-term security.

What was needed was an effective plan to bring together various players for mutual benefit. Lafarge, a world leader in building materials, has done just this, initiating a partnership that strategically and sustainably addresses the problem in one fell swoop.

Joining forces with Zambia’s BancABC, Lafarge have partnered to create a turnkey solution where everyone wins. The bank offers finance with flexible repayment terms to potential homeowners in a model that allows them to build and plan their project incrementally. Lafarge in turn assigns an architect to help design the houses; supplies house plans & bills of quantity as well as technical assistance and safety training during the building process; and access to their materials at competitive prices. It’s a practical, step by step, win-win solution for all stakeholders: homeowner, bank and materials supplier, streamlining costs and opportunities for all.

IT’S AFRICA’S TIME went to meet the players and find out more for ourselves ….

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