Rwanda has been experiencing a very high rate of population and urban growth. This has posed serious problems for socio-economic development because of the inability of existing institutions and mechanisms to cope with emerging challenges. These problems are more critical in the capital City of Kigali, where huge housing supply deficits, dilapidated housing conditions, high cost of housing as well as the proliferation of informal settlements are eminent (Tsinda, Abbott et al. 2013, Manirakiza 2014).
Kigali’s housing deficit is increasing despite a number of new policies, programs and strategies initiated by the public and private sectors to address this problem. The majority of those in need of housing are in the low-income cadre and some require special housing programs to be able to afford decent housing. To address the problem, the Government of Rwanda has recently engaged in the provision of affordable housing through a number of initiatives including but not limited to subsidized housing facilities through commercial banks, incentives like tax holidays for construction companies, mortgage plans and housing loans and tax exemption on construction materials especially for big construction projects. This policy brief highlights the root causes of large housing deficits in Kigali, explains why existing initiatives are not functioning as they should and offers a number of recommendations that can enhance the provision of affordable housing across the city.