KMRC’s Affordable Housing Conference (2021) Declaration

Source- Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company

Title- KMRC’s Affordable Housing Conference 2021 Declaration

Date- December 9, 2021

Editor’s Note– Players in Kenya’s housing industry converged at the conference mecca of Naivasha on December 8th and 9th, 2021 to take stock of achievements under the Affordable Housing Pillar of the Big 4 Agenda, enhance demand and supply sides linkages and discuss issues affecting the delivery of affordable housing and how to resolve them.

Convened by the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) and the State Department for Housing and Urban Development, the Affordable Housing Conference, the first of its kind in Kenya, also made available a platform for Housing Sector stakeholders to network and hear from seasoned sector experts and thought leaders.

The conference, on the theme Affordable Housing in Kenya: Leveraging the Supply and Demand Linkages, also brought together public and private sector players to discuss demand and supply side factors relevant to the delivery of affordable housing in Kenya.

 

The Affordable Housing Conference targeted project developers, investors – pension funds, insurance companies, SACCOs, consumers, development partners (AfDB, USAID, World Bank, IFC), Government MDAs and County Governments. Others are financiers, consultancy firms, policy makers and regulators, research institutions and professional associations in the built environment. The conference came against the backdrop of an aggressive Affordable Housing Program (AHP), that the Government is currently implementing. The Government has also tasked both private and public sectors’ stakeholders to reimagine practical measures that can be implemented in the short to medium term to fast-track delivery of housing objectives. In his recent State of the Nation address to Kenya’s Legislature, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that some 186,000 units had been constructed in the last four years.

 

Housing is recognized as one of the critical sectors under the social pillar of the Vision 2030, Kenya’s main economic blueprint. Further, Affordable Housing has been prioritized as one of the initiatives under President Kenyatta’s “Big 4 Agenda” to ensure that low and middle-income households have access to decent and affordable housing units. Additionally, AHP is one of the Government’s main development objectives for the period 2017 – 2022, under the third medium term plan (MTP III) of Kenya’s Vision 2030. The State Department for Housing and Urban Development is mandated to implement the Program by providing an enabling environment and implementing plans to deliver 500,000 affordable housing units.

 

At the end of the two-day conference, a declaration was prepared by the convenors, recapping the discussions and resolutions agreed upon by the stakeholders. The declaration was ratified and will be used to guide the actions and decisions of all housing stakeholders in ensuring that they all play their part to positively transform the sector and make the home ownership journey an exciting experience for all Kenyans.

See the full PDF declaration Affordable Housing Conference Declaration 08122021

 

How Kenya is making home ownership possible for low-income households

Rachel Mwangagi is getting ready to move into her dream home in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, within the first quarter of 2022. It is the culmination of a long and arduous journey for the single parent who works with one of Kenya’s county governments and solely fends for her two children ever since the demise of her husband.

For a long time, a mortgage facility that she would deem affordable had been out of her reach, with short repayment periods and double-digit interest rates locking her out. This changed when she got to know of lending through her savings and credit cooperative society, Stima Sacco, which had been enabled by onward lending courtesy of the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company, KMRC.

“I joined a page on a social media site and I was going through it, I happened to read about a loan facility whose rates were so good. I decided to go to my sacco branch and inquire about it and the journey began with them assessing how much I earned and which institution I worked with”, Mwangagi says.

Having secured a Ksh. 4.0 million facility whose interest rate is 9.0% and the repayment period is 15 years, Mwangangi considers herself considerably fortunate when she contrasts this with the prevailing market landscape. According to the Central Bank of Kenya, the average mortgage size is Ksh. 8.6 million, the average interest rate charged is 10.9% and the average repayment period is 11.2 years.

“This is the best thing that happened to me since I was born. In this country where do you get a loan at 9.0%? I was speaking to my friend who was telling me I have been given free money. I was very excited because I had earlier just repaid a Ksh 1.5 million loan and it took me quite some time because the rate was too high”, she says.

Mwangangi’s monthly mortgage service cost is Ksh. 48,000, an increase from the Ksh. 35,000 she currently pays in rent. She, however, says she is delighted that KMRC has not only enabled her to own a home but more importantly realize the quality of housing she has always desired; quality she would not have been able to enjoy had she relied on her savings only for this undertaking.

“I had planned of putting up something small using my little savings but when I found that the sacco could facilitate me to get additional cash, I changed the plan. If it were not for KMRC I would not have achieved my dream house. I am grateful that through this facility I am able to put up the building I have always dreamt of, my house is very beautiful”, she says.

KMRC was granted a license to conduct mortgage refinance business in Kenya on September 3, 2020. The company is designed to push mortgage down-market to underserved segments of the market through single digit and longer tenured facilities. Beyond serving as a game changer for persons such as Mwangangi, it is also yielding a positive impact on the supply of long-term finance from financial cooperatives.

“Prior to KMRC we did make attempts into the mortgage lending business but only through scheme loans. This meant that we were merely administering mortgage schemes on behalf of other companies. KMRC has given us the capability to offer mortgage facilities just like any other financial institution. So far, we’ve received Ksh 69 Million from KMRC out of which we’ve lent out more than 50.0 per cent”, says Stima Sacco Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Hassan Gamaliel.

Gamaliel says Stima Sacco’s demand pipeline is steadily growing and there will be need to tap into more financing from KMRC as more citizens reach for affordable financing.

“KMRC is enabling us for the first time to lend our own money through a 20 to 25-year facility. We would never have been able to do this; our micro-mortgage product would have been able to go only up to 12 years. What this has meant in terms of affordability is what we are really into”, Gamaliel says.

The value of outstanding mortgages in Kenya closed 2020 at Ksh. 232.7 billion, this was a 2.1% decline compared to the close of 2019. The number of mortgages in the market closed 2020 at 26,971, down 3.7% compared to 2019. With primary mortgage lenders witnessing a rise in the pipeline of applications for affordable financing, KMRC is helping to recast the mortgage landscape in Kenya to be more inclusive.

KMRC has been supported since inception by the World Bank Group, which provided technical assistance and financing to the Government of Kenya to design and operationalize it. IFC invested equity in KMRC alongside eight Commercial Banks, one Microfinance Bank, eleven SACCOs, Shelter Afrique and the Government of Kenya.