Rental Housing in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges
Urbanization and slum formation are intertwined in a context of mal-functioning housing sector and increasing demand for decent housing. Rental housing is thus an important component that cannot be ignored in finding a solution to housing in Africa. Over 2 billion new urban residents are created annually and there is an annual increment of 35.1 million households. This points to a very crucial implication for housing supply and policies. The right to adequate housing centers around the following criteria: Security of tenure (and protection from forced eviction!), Availability of services, Materials, Facilities and infrastructure, Location, Habitability, Affordability, Accessibility, Cultural adequacy. With over 40% of Africa’s population living in the urban area and over 51% of urban dwellers living in the slum, there is an urgent need for housing policy intervention which can only be realized through good governance systems with the rule of law and clear housing regulations.
In understanding the housing market in general, it is important to note that the supply and demand and the behavior of sellers, buyers, producers, consumers and government policies will determine prices. While supply is affected by availability of land, infrastructure, building materials, organization, building industry, skilled & productive labor, self-reliance BM production and urban planning, demand is affected by demographic conditions, rate of urbanization, rate of new household formation, property rights regime, housing finance, fiscal policies, subsidies, macroeconomic conditions.