Housing Finance in Sierra Leone


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2021 Sierra Leone country profile, click here.

The Republic of Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone) is located on the southwest coast of West Africa and is bordered by Liberia to the southeast and Guinea to the northeast. In 2020 the country had an estimated total population of 7 976 985, and an estimated urban population of 3 423 961 (43% of the population), with an urbanisation rate of 3.1%.

The capital and largest city are Freetown, which is also the country’s major urban and economic centre and houses the seat of Government of Sierra Leone. Migration from rural to urban centres has placed pressure on authorities to address the housing crisis, with Freetown estimated to need an additional 280 000 housing units, or 19 000 additional houses a year, by 2028. In addition, service provision is poor and housing inadequate, with 94% of the homes in Freetown having no flush toilets and 66.6% of the population living in one or two rooms only.

The economy of Sierra Leone is dependent on diamond production, which has been unstable over the last few years and has recently been further impacted by COVID-19. Weak external demand for major exports, particularly diamonds, and declines in the mining, transport, trade, and tourism sectors have led to real gross domestic product (GDP) being estimated to contract by 2.7% in 2020 after growing by 5.4% in 2019. Inflation was estimated to pick up to 17% in 2020 from 14.8% in 2019. Real GDP per capita is projected to recover some of its losses but is expected to remain below 2019 levels for the next two to three years. Furthermore, 24% of houses in Freetown are of zinc construction, 13% are made of mud and 30,000 households depend on unsafe drinking water sources.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Sierra Leone, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2021 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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