Of the 2,300 people who have participated in the “Gira Iwawe” program that aims to provide low-income housing for Rwandans, 70% are young people.
It is a program launched by the National Development Bank, BRD in collaboration with the National Housing Authority, RHA.
A person who earns less than 1.2 million Frw per month is allowed a loan of up to 40 million Frw to buy a house, and will pay at an interest rate of 11% for 20 years. The person must be about to own his first house.
A person with an income between 1.2 million Frw and 1.5 million Frw is allowed to buy a house worth between 40 million Frw and 60 million Frw. He is given a loan at an interest rate of 13%.
In addition to receiving a loan to buy a house, BRD also helps those who have heavy debts (heavy debt is the one who pays 30% interest on the house in a short time) to extend the time and pay at a low interest.
Director of the Department of Infrastructure and Human Settlement in BRD, Nelson Mandela, announced that the number of people who have applied for housing loans and the payment of heavy loans has reached 2300 thousand.
Now about 500 people have been helped to buy a house.
By the end of this year, about 5,000 people will have already bought a house through the loans they provide because people have understood it and the government has created programs that facilitate investors to build affordable houses.
At the beginning of the program, it was planned that by the end of 2023, about 6,000 people should have been given loans, but they were hit by Covid-19 and other problems including the perception of people and investors who were not able to build enough houses.
Mandela said, “Despite these obstacles, we have been cooperating with donors, including the government, to look at what is going wrong so that by the end of this year, 5,000 people will have found a house.”
He calls on young people to participate in this program early, and stop thinking that they will build a house only when they are old or have families because it helps to finish the loan.
He said, “It is not good to take a long-term loan when you are 40 years old and pay off the debt until you are 60 years old. We have the advantage that people are leaving school at a young age and starting to earn money at that age, so they have to think about how they can afford to own their home.”
Melissa Pepita is one of the young people who expressed her desire to get a long-term loan.
He said, “If you have a job, imagine that in the coming days you will need a place to live. Instead of renting a security deposit, you can participate in the program. Money is like a language that few people understand. It doesn’t require protection, it requires an open mind and knowing what is important.”
It is an idea shared by Angela Mutamba, who has already bought a house with the help of BRD, who says that she found out about the program when she still has little money but she is determined to get more money from the rent.
He said, “When you are in another tenant’s house, the money you give will not be of any use to you in the years to come, because it goes into the landlord’s pocket. This loan is a long-term savings.”
Mutamba says that at that time he never rented a house for less than 200,000 Frw, something he considers a great loss. He said, “Because of that money, I gave it to the bank and now I have paid all the debt.”
In this program BRD works with six banks operating in Rwanda including Bank of Kigali (BK), ZIGAMA CSS, Bank of Africa (BoA), Umwalimu SACCO, NCBA Bank and Banki y Abaturage (BPR Bank).
The loan applicant is allowed to rent a house anywhere he wants at the price he wants, according to his category, anywhere in the country, if he is in the category of those who are eligible for 11% interest, which is less than 40 million Frw.