IFC, Belco Realty partner to develop affordable housing and commercial space in Kenya
IFC announced partnership with Kenyan firm Belco Realty to support the development of a mixed use affordable living complex that will consist of 1,379 residential units and over 4,500 square meters of retail and commercial space in Kongowea, Mombasa county.
Under the agreement, IFC will help identify suitable international strategic partners to invest equity of up to $12 million (Ksh1.3 billion) in Belco and to provide the company with the necessary technical support to develop the project.
"Affordable Housing offers a unique investment opportunity to positively impact whole communities whilst attaining the highest standards of sustainability to help push cities towards a circular economy. Our partnership with IFC highlights a mutual understanding of the power of scale to drive change and a commitment to surpassing accepted norms," said Vijay Patel, Managing Partner of Belco.
The development, known as Kongowea Village, will be developed to foster inclusive and affordable community living within the city. Located on eight acres within the heart of Mombasa city, the project aims to be a catalyst for wider city regeneration.
The project will be developed to meet IFC EDGE certification requirements and will incorporate the latest technologies in passive cooling, energy efficiency and water conservation to support sustainable urbanization. Kongowea Village is expected to create 1,160 jobs and business opportunities during the three-year construction period and many more after completion of the project within the themed retail arcade.
"Access to quality housing is a growing problem in Kenya and across Africa," said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC's Regional Director for Eastern Africa. "Developers often target the high end of the market, but this project is aimed squarely at the lower-income bracket. Helping Belco identify the right partners for this project is expected to attract more developers to Kenya and other parts of Africa to help meet rising demand for housing."
"IFC's engagement with Belco will help Kenya support its rapidly growing and urbanizing population by increasing access to affordable housing. The problem is similar across most of Africa, where population growth and demand for quality housing are combining to outstrip supply. We are pleased to partner with a company such as Belco that is committed to contributing to solving this challenge," said Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, IFC's Director for Transaction Advisory Services.
IFC's partnership with Belco is part of its broader strategy to support better access to affordable housing in Kenya. In 2020, IFC invested $2 million in equity in the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC), to help increase access to affordable mortgages and support home ownership in the country.