Blantyre Low-income Housing and Housing Upgrades

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Focus Areas: Housing

This project, which began in 2011, involves the construction of and improvements to houses in Blantyre. The project initially aimed to provide one hundred and twenty (120) houses for Federation members. Negotiations between the Alliance and Blantyre City Assembly lead to the City providing land at no cost upon which five hundred and forty (540) houses can be constructed, through loans accessed by the Federation and community savings. 

Location: Blantyre, Blantyre, Malawi

Deliverables:

The construction of five hundred and forty (540) houses. To date, two hundred and forty-four (244) houses have been upgraded and seventy-seven (77) beneficiaries have been identified. Houses were upgraded by changing thatch to iron, mud to cement screed and in some case mud blocks to burnt bricks for the walls. 

Community capacity:

Throughout the project Federation members have improved loan repayment rates. The Federation has developed a performance based loan management and collection system (with Federation members acting as community loan officers) to improve loan collection rates. 

Scale:

The scaling up process has begun as Councils have given Federations land in Kasungu and Salma at no cost. The potential to scale up will increase as loan repayment rates also increase. Additional technical support from Government as well as greater Federation membership will facilitate the successful scaling up the project. 

Impact:

The process has seen a shift in relationships between the Federation and City Council. The Council is embracing the Federation processes and has adopted more of a ‘bottom up’ approach to development. 

This project has also allowed the Federation to demonstrate that the revolving funds model does work and can improve the lives of the urban poor. The Federation has also been able to improve upon its systems relating to the fund to ensure that repayments are coming through and that loans are repaid. 

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$150,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

Land was leveraged from the State for the construction of the houses.

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was in the form of land and technical support. 

Market Generated Returns:

None to date. 

Costs recovered from community:

None to date. 

Patrick Chikoti patrickchikoti@gmail.com (+265) 1 756 781 View Website
Project social media channels:


Project information updated: 26 January 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

This project sees the Malawi Alliance of Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) and the Federation of Rural and Urban Poor (previously known as the Malawi Homeless People's Federation) respond to housing shortages in Blantyre in 2011. Blantyre has experienced increasing urban sprawl and accompanying pressure on inadequate housing.  There have been very few Government programmes in Blantyre that target the issues of urban poverty and housing access. This is exacerbated by the fact that the urban poor cannot afford housing loans from commercial banks. This means that the poor often have to live in rented houses whose rates are high yet facilities poor.

Deliverables:

The intention was to provide one hundred and twenty (120) houses for Federation members. However, due to the provision of land by the State, five hundred and forty (540) houses are to be constructed. In addition to this, a number of houses are to be improved using revolving funds provided through the Mchenga Fund. 

Community capacity:

Community participation in this project was primarily through savings. 

Scale:

In order to achieve scale, the Federation will need more technical support. This support will focus on the types of improvements that can be made to houses to make them more durable. 

The achievements thus far can also be amplified if new Federation members are recruited. 

Impact:

Through access to home improvement loans, many households have upgraded their houses to a better level through the use of good and affordable construction materials. Apart from maximizing the beauty of their house, households are safer in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding for example.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$150,000 of which US$30,000.00 went towards project-linked technical assistance. 

Resources Leveraged:

Land and technical support was leveraged for this project. 

Market Generated Returns:

None to date. 

Costs recovered from community:

Twenty-five percent (25%) of the project funds have been revolved allowing for new loans to be issued to landlords to construct fifteen (15) houses. The remaining recoverable funds will be used to issue new loans to the Federation where demand is highest, particularly for home improvement and sanitation. The community has saved and contributed the necessary ten percent (10%) of total costs in order for construction to occur. The project has been negatively impacted by the currency devaluation in the country, and measures will need to be taken to minimise the impact of this in the future. 

CCODE. (2015). Empowering the Poor: Building the Capacity of Urban and Rural Communities. [Online]. Available: http://arqa.com/en/architecture/empowering-the-poor-building-the-capacity-of-urban-and-rural-communities.html
 
Malawi Homeless People's Federation. (2011). Federation Sensitises Community Leaders on Slum Upgrading. [Online]. Available: http://halala-homelessbutnothopeless.blogspot.co.za/2011/03/federation-sensitize-community-leaders.html
 
Malawi Homeless People's Federation. (2011b). Federation Trains "Community Mobilisers" in Blantyre. [Online]. Available: http://halala-homelessbutnothopeless.blogspot.co.za/2011/03/federation-trains-community-mobilisers.html

Funding Information

Raised:

$150,000.00

Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Centre for Community Organisation & Development (CCODE)


Homeless People's Federation of Malawi