Best practice for implementing affordable housing in Kigali

Project Active from to Cities

  • Supply of adequate low-income housing is vital for productive cities.
  • Researchers provided valuable input into Rwanda’s planned incremental-build, low-income neighbourhood.
  • Incremental housing has potential to provide home seekers with well-serviced land, infrastructure, and foundational structures for extendable homes.

Kigali has a critical shortage of low-income housing. This project and its associated workshop were requested by the Director General of the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA). One method to bring down housing costs substantially is incremental building, where unfinished houses on serviced plots are provided for beneficiaries to improve over time. RHA has committed to piloting an incremental-build, low-income neighbourhood in Kigali in order to give households the option to improve and enlarge their homes over time and adapt living spaces to their own needs

Incremental housing has proved capable of giving low-income home seekers well-serviced land, infrastructure, and foundational structures for extendable houses, while also respecting recipients’ preferences. Access to finance and savings capacity are crucial but often overlooked, and knowledge about home maintenance and renovation is important.

This project added to IGC Rwanda’s growing portfolio of work on affordable housing for Kigali. In particular, it built on work by Jit Bajpai, which convinced the RHA to design and roll out an incremental-build neighbourhood to help address Kigali’s critical shortage of low-income housing. This project aimed to encourage the implementation of these previously discussed ideas by compiling international learning on success factors for incremental housing projects.

The researchers later produced a policy note outlining success factors for incremental build housing. This policy note was shared with the RHA and fed in to RHA’s business case and proposal for the planned incremental-build, low-income neighbourhood. Following the workshop, IGC Rwanda met with the RHA, who stated that they will be proceeding with building 50 incremental-build houses in Kigali.