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Tanzania’s housing deficit at three million units

Tanzania Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli has said that the country is facing a housing deficit of three million units for civil servants. The minister has also added that Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) was working towards having more quality and affordable housing units.

Currently, the Tanzania Building Agency is undertaking construction of 1,700 housing units around the country according to the minister. In addition, the agency is committing to construct 10, 000 housing units by 2015. A special task force has also been formed to see the project take off. The new project will be implemented under Mortgage Housing Finance.

The agency has also said that a mass housing approach will be more necessary in eradicating the housing problem through provision of large volume of housing units. It recognizes that the current conventional construction methods are costly and thus industrialized innovative solutions will be needful in eradicating the problem of housing backlog. Other challenges include desirability of new housing areas near offices or working areas and lack of infrastructure.

The agency would build more housing units in Dar-es-salaam than any other regions, followed by Dodoma. The strategy will be to construct 2500 housing units annually. TBA has reported that it is possible to implement this project using a special Construction technology, called Tunnel Form adopted from Turkey. This is a formwork system where cast walls and slabs will be used. The walls and slabs can be cast in one operation on a daily cycle.

Termed as a modern method of construction, the technology will allow for speed, quality and accuracy of factory/offsite production with flexibility. It is also a low-cost method for in-situ construction. In follow up to the situation, TBA says the Turkey-based Mesa Imalat company has agreed to export this technology to the country. The company will also provide training to the project team and contractors both in Turkey and in Tanzania. The training will be facilitated by TBA although part of the cost will be paid by contractors.

Tanzania Building Agency will also lease the Tunnel Formwork System and Cranes to the contractors. The country is suffering a huge demand of affordable housing, with Tanzania Mortgage Refinancing Company (TMRC) CEO Oscar Mgaya saying that very few private housing developers were in the country. Philippe Dongier, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda also said on February this year that rapid urbanization in the country was necessitating urgency in improving access to finance for affordable housing.

The World Bank has committed to provide US$60m to fund affordable housing in Tanzania. The funds will go towards the country’s mortgage market. Last year, the country signed a US$ 550m concessional loan agreement with the Chinese Government, in order to see through construction of 12,000 new housing units for the military.

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