Written by James Raftery
Africa Federation is achieving impressive success in its drive to build and facilitate 200 apartments by 2022.
The work of AFED’s Housing Development Board is providing a proven template for other organisations seeking to uplift the community to a higher level of development and progress.
AFED Chairman Alhaj Shabir Najafi’s vision to open 200 apartments during his term of office is designed to offer affordable housing for community members, help them own a home and help them develop economically.
Today Khoja News presents the first of a two-part special report into AFED’s success.
The Housing Development Board’s role is to facilitate, to guide and provide expertise support to constituent member Jamaats under AFED.
It began by setting out ambitious but achievable aims. These include raising awareness of the importance of owning a home, introducing various schemes assisting different Jamaats according to their specific needs, helping member Jamaats to undertake proper surveys of their members’ housing needs, building affordable and cost-effective housing without compromising the quality and standard, and facilitating 200 apartments for members in Africa, enabling them to own their own home.
Great success and overcoming challenges
The Board has made great progress – there is greater awareness throughout African Jamaats of the importance of owning housing. They have successfully introduced ‘Rent to Own’ schemes, to enable middle-income earners to own their homes.
Projects have been cost effective, without compromising on quality or standard. For most of its properties, the Housing Development Board has successfully worked hand-in-hand with the Trustees, and has, alongside the AFED Chairman and office holders, managed to secure substantial funds for the ‘Rent to Own’ projects.
The Board has overcome a number of challenges. For example, through dialogue with local Jamaats, it has tackled the lack of awareness on the importance of owning a home. These dialogues also helped housing discussions, and created better communication with and between Jamaats, overcoming a lack of data from local Jamaats, and the lack of a common vision in achieving goals. Through advising Jamaats the Board helped with their planning, and by holding discussions with donors the Board could help raise funds for projects.
In the future, the Board will continue implementing the ‘Rent to Own’ scheme, enabling low and middle-income earners to own their home within a time frame of 10 years. The target set is 80% of members in each region to own their home by 2030.
This will only be possible if the Jamaats support and implement the vision of the Africa Federation. The Board will continue to coordinate with local Jamaats to carry out surveys every three years to ascertain the Jamaats’ situation and to plan ahead. Its chairman will continue to visit a number of different constituent Jamaats.
The chairman of the Housing Development Board, Akil G. Hirji, said:
“The well-being of individuals and communities depends on meeting basic needs to reduce the plight of poverty. Shelter is one such basic need that needs to be prioritized. Our aim is to provide support to our members through their respective Jamaats to improve quality of life and create vibrant and successful communities across Africa – Insha’Allah.
“In the current pressing times, housing is a top priority for every family; hence it is a necessity that needs to be prioritized by Jamaats. We are focusing and working on affordable housing for low and middle-income earners, to make them home owners. For those who are first-time buyers this will largely help the families to have a permanent shelter of their own, and generate additional disposal income.”
The board has already successfully completed:
Al Asghary Residency, Dar es Salaam
This was completed and handed over to AFED on 29 April 2018, followed by occupation of the tenants from July 2018. This is the first project based on the ‘Rent to Own’ scheme, and it consists of nine units of three bedrooms, nine units of 2 bedrooms, three shops and one warehouse on the ground floor. The 18 eligible and deserving buyers were chosen after an in-depth application and interview process that was conducted with a total of 86 applicants.
The project was successfully opened on 18 September 2018, consisting of two blocks of 22-storey building with 52 units of three-bedroom, 20 units of four-bedroom and 24 units of studios apartments. This development was handled by the Mombasa Jamaat.
The building has a basement and ground-floor parking. Each floor has two apartments, with two elevators, a staircase, a lift lobby, and all necessary amenities and services are available. The building has been constructed to prevent any damage from earthquakes or cyclones. There are 23 apartments specifically for welfare families (economically challenged members of the community in Mombasa, who are needy and deserving), while 12 studio apartments are for widows.
The Housing Development Board is very proud of all its work so far, and is looking forward to continued success and benefits for Khoja members.
Read Part 2 of our Special Report here to find out about the housing projects currently underway and planned for the future.