Golden Sibanda-Senior Business Reporter
BancABC, the local banking unit of pan-African financial services group Atlas Mara, has concluded an US$11 million housing finance deal with Africa focussed housing financier Shelter Afrique.
The Zimbabwean banking group sealed a US$7 million financing deal this week, the second in three weeks after earlier inking another housing loan facility for US$4 million.
The combined US$11 million housing financing facilities will be deployed towards the development of 2 500 housing units for low and middle income groups.
The credit lines have been extended at a time the Ministry of Housing and Social Amenities has moved to reduce the national housing backlog, which stands at 1,5 million.
Demand for housing in Zimbabwe continues to grow while the provision of housing financing facilities remains limited.
Low income earners have been the hardest hit by the shortage of affordable housing, resulting in the sprouting of numerous illegal settlements, slams and backyard shacks.
Similarly, housing shortage in Zimbabwe has seen unsuspecting home seekers being duped out of their hard earned money by unscrupulous and bogus residential housing developers and or land barons.
BancABC said it was against the background that it had sought funding to finance low cost housing for the low income earners.
The bank has previously collaborated with Shelter Afrique in housing schemes and in 2011 the two concluded a US$7 package for construction of 150 housing units.
In 2015, Shelter Africa extended a US$5 million loan facility to BancABC to finance the trade activities of importers and exporters of building materials and equipment.
Mr Kuria Njinu, the chief legal officer of Shelter Afrique who flew in from Kenya to sign the deal emphasised the African housing financier’s goal of assisting in housing and real estate development in Africa.
“This credit line will assist in addressing the housing backlog in Zimbabwe, the extension of this facility to BancABC reaffirms our commitment to providing affordable housing solutions for Africa”, stated Mr Njinu.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Lance Mambondiani, BancABC CEO said; “We are once again pleased to partner with Shelter Afrique on a project of such magnitude, because of the many lives it will impact.
“Our Corporate and Investment Banking team has been working on putting this deal together and today we are proud to sign off on it,” Dr Mambondiani said.
Dr Mambondiani also took the opportunity to congratulate Shelter Afrique on the housing financier’s 40th anniversary.
In the past 40 years the institution has approved investments worth USD$1,207 billion and completed over 17 572 projects with governments and banks across Africa.