Housing Investment Chronicles

All across Africa, the vast majority of citizens cannot afford to purchase a home using formal housing finance instruments. The average annual income required to purchase the cheapest newly built house in Mozambique is US$149 909. The average annual household income in the country is significantly below this at $6 274, making formal housing finance accessible to just 1.26% of urban households. These figures necessitate further understanding of how the vast majority of middle and low income households earn, save and spend their money on housing. However, many sector role-players rely on high-level income data to determine affordability in a country. However this data is derived from declared incomes in the formal sector and therefore tells us very little on the true affordability at a household level due primarily to the fact that many African households are engaged in informal, non-declarable income activities.

This project aims to achieve a better, more nuanced understanding of household level investment in housing. What assets, networks and strategies do households drawn upon to secure land and build their homes? And what is the policy, market and regulatory context that shapes the decisions households must make in order to secure shelter for themselves?

In 2016-2017, CAHF conducted household surveys in Uganda and Mozambique with the aim of building this understanding of how households, earn, save and spend their money on housing. With a focus on low and middle income households, the Mozambique and Uganda Housing investment Chronicles have collected stories on the housing investment journeys of households in these two locations and have provided key insights into the land acquisition, time, financial instruments and resources used by these households to access housing. Inspired by the Financial Diaries initiative, this qualitative research project aims at informing a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities households face in accessing housing to inform evidence based policy making and responsive financial product development and design.

The Mozambique Housing Investment Chronicles work began in December 2016 with an initial workshop to launch the project. The Housing Investment Chronicles in Mozambique final report was launched in early 2018 in Maputo. For English and Portuguese versions of the report, click here.

More information on the Uganda Housing Investment Chronicles is available here.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Housing Investment Chronicles study will also be undertaken in 2018. More information is available here.

 

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