The Housing Finance Bank has enhanced its relationship with the Buganda Land Board (BLB), making it easier for Bibanja/kibanja owners to get lease-hold certificates of title.
The monarchy has initiated a program called the “Express Plan” in order to speed up the kyapa processing time. The Express Plan is designed to cut the processing time in half, from six months to one month.
The first partnership between HFB and BLB was inked in 2013, with the goal of making finance more accessible.
This has been noted as a significant impediment for tenants seeking security of tenure. The two parties have taken part in different campaigns to increase the number of landlords on the kingdom’s property over the years.
Michael K. Mugabi, Managing Director of the HFB, praised the BLB for their persistence and creativity in tackling difficulties related to titling and development of Bibanja land.
“As we continue our collaboration, I’d want to thank you for considering a simple and quick solution to assist bibanja owners. Several prospective landowners would find it easier to establish their tenure with the kingdom now that the processing time has been reduced from six months to one month,” he stated.
“I would like to guarantee our continuing help in obtaining the cash required by Bibanja holders to produce these certificates of title in the shortest period feasible and with complete dedication.
We have mastered the art of helping consumers in this arena and finding inventive solutions to any hurdles they may face during the various stages of title acquisition as the country’s biggest mortgage lender.”
The HFB also told the BLB that it had formed a number of relationships with various development partners to boost Uganda’s housing sector.
The Agence Française de Development (AFD) and the Housing Finance Bank inked a €10.5 million deal in 2020 to support the development of affordable housing in Uganda.
The facility permits the bank to support the development of houses in phases (incremental) by people in the low-middle income group who are currently unable to obtain financing for home construction. This Incremental Housing Loan plan currently allows some Bibanja owners to access finance for both titling and building. He went on to say, “Our incremental Housing Loan plan solution has essentially broken the barrier to entry for everyone to affordably build and own a home.”
The kibanja owners simply need to approach BLB and open a file, present proof of land ownership, and they will be recommended to Housing Finance Bank for a loan to cover the 100 percent funding requirement for obtaining a lease hold certificate of title, according to the process flow discussed by the two parties.
Customers submit an application and accompanying papers to HFB, agree to the bank’s terms and conditions, sign the mortgage deeds and leasing agreement, and the loan is disbursed. According to housing finance, this process can be completed in seven days.
HFB was recognized by BLB CEO Simon Kabogoza as one of the most committed partner banks under BLB’s trademark product, Lease Access Financing Initiative (LAFI).
“As a Buganda kingdom, we think that a land title is the most significant document somebody may have on land. However, we recognize that while the majority of our people desire land titles, they do not have the financial means to process them. As a result, we launched the LAFI program, which has helped over 2,000 residents on Kabaka’s land obtain titles thanks to loans from partner institutions. “We are delighted to claim that we have never had a client fail on a loan,” he said.
Given the country’s current land ownership fragility, Kabogoza also advised renters on Kabaka’s land to follow this approach and obtain land titles.
“This is for all bibanja owners out there, whether on Kabaka’s land or not; if you can’t afford to secure a title, at the very least register your land interest with your landlord and pay the annual nominal ground rent” (Busuulu). It’s the only way to avoid the rampaging land grabbers,” he explained.
He stated that the Buganda monarchy is pro-growth and believes that a person with a land title may improve faster than those without one since a title can be used to obtain loans, get a development plan authorized, and most importantly, it assures security of tenure.