The Quick Guide Series was inspired by the same study that was commissioned in Asia, the series includes other guides covering other housing related topics. The objective of the study is to introduce key concepts of housing finance and to provide an overview of how a housing finance system works. Both the formal and informal systems of housing finance are reviewed. The current situation of how African households finance their homes is illustrated. Finally, suggestions are made for policy makers to enhance access to affordable housing finance especially by the urban poor.