a woman from Uganda sitting at the table. She is studying her microloan payments book.

Microfinance is our best bet

opinion for Place from Thomson Reuters Foundation

East Africa, like the rest of the continent, is in the grip of rapid urbanization. Populations are growing and the numbers moving into cities are rising even faster. As a consequence, the amount of inadequate housing is increasing significantly. Housing low-income households is a momentous challenge for everyone, whether in government, finance or the non-profit sector.

Kevin Chetty, Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, argues that the free market – through housing microfinance – can be part of a housing solution for low-income communities.

His original opinion piece appeared in Place in January 2018:

 

“It is all about being small scale, affordable and lending responsibly, and it is working.“
— Kevin Chetty, Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, Habitat for Humanity International

Place brings exclusive land and property rights reportage produced by the Thomson Reuters Foundation along with the very best analysis, comment, photographs and video from experts and organizations working around the globe.

 

Can microfinance help solve the housing deficit?

The “Building Assets, Unlocking Access” project – in partnership with the and Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter – has helped more than 40,000 families in Uganda and Kenya access loans to secure adequate housing and improve their living conditions. 

Read more about microfinance.