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From unplanned settlement to new housing development in Kigali city: the case study of Amahoro cell, Muhima sector

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par John MUGISHA
National University of Rwanda - Bachelor's degree 2011

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4.10 Challenges in new housing development in Kigali city

The main challenge in the new housing development is a large number of informal settlement quarters on prime land that need to be expropriated for efficient redevelopment. In an interview with an official in charge of housing in Kigali city, he said that expropriating and redeveloping land by providing basic amenities such as plot servicing, roads, electricity and water supply, is an expensive multimillion project. This could delay the implementation of the housing development.

Poverty is another big challenge to this development since the majority of residents in informal settlements are poor. Apart from some informal settlement quarters on prime land that need to be removed for renewal, there are others that need to be upgraded as proposed in the master plan. But this upgrading is a threat to the poor residents.

Another important challenge that cannot be left behind is the poor terrain in most parts of the city. Erecting multi-storey buildings requires that land must be flattened. This is expensive because about 50% of land in Kigali city is on poor terrain.

Resistance to new changes by residents; normally people are reluctant to relocate because they are not sure whether life will proceed as they used to do. In this case, some people have fear of relocating without knowing where to go for resettlement. As a result, they go in the city peripheries and develop new informal settlements.

Increased rental prices; 57% of surveyed households are tenants and in expropriation they are released to find another rent. This increases the prices since the number of seekers is bigger than the available houses for rent.

Lastly, as discussed in section 3.3 above, residents claim that the expropriation prices are low such that it is not easy to re-establish in a new area with a decent house and lifestyle. Even if assisted to get already constructed houses, they are not satisfied with the standard and size. Considering Batsinda housing estate built for people expropriated in Ubumwe cell, the majority refused to acquire them saying that they are small and of low standard.

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