Buganda Land Board and Housing Finance Bank have launched a joint campaign called the Express Plan which will reduce the title processing time from the current 6 months to 1 month!
This was revealed on August 27 when the two entities were renewing their Kyapa loan partnership, with a renewed focus on easing the process for Bibanja/kibanja owners to acquire lease hold certificates of title.
In 2010 BLB started a lease financing initiative with Financial Institutions, where the latter would extend credit to clients on the kingdom land for purposes of securing land titles. In 2013, Housing Finance Bank and Buganda Land Board signed the first agreement under this initiative and, over the years, the two parties have participated in various campaigns to increase the number of titled tenants on the kingdom’s land. Buganda Land Board manages over 1,000 square miles of kingdom land spread across the kingdom. Unfortunately, less than 20 per cent of tenants on this land are titled.
Commenting about the new initiative, Housing Finance Managing Director Mr. Michael Mugabi commended the Buganda Land Board for their consistency and innovativeness in addressing the issues relating to titling and development of Bibanja.
“As we renew our partnership, allow me to thank you for thinking about an easy and faster way to support bibanja owners. By reducing the processing time from 6 months to 1 month, several tenants will now be eager to devote time to securing their tenure with the kingdom,” he said.
“I would like to pledge our continued support to avail, within the shortest time possible, and with absolute dedication, the funding required by tenants to process these certificates of title. As the leading mortgage lender in the country, we have mastered the art of serving customers in this space, and finding creative solutions to any obstacles they may encounter during the various stages to title acquisition.”
Housing Finance bank also revealed to the Buganda Land Board that the bank had entered into a number of partnerships with different developmental partners to support the housing sector in Uganda, of particular interest; in 2020, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Housing Finance Bank signed a €10.5 million agreement towards the development of affordable housing in Uganda. The facility allows the bank to fund phased (incremental) development of houses by the low-middle income bracket who currently struggle to access funding for home construction. Several bibanja owners could not only get funding for titling, but construction as well under this Incremental Housing Loan scheme.
“Our incremental Housing Loan scheme product has literally broken the barrier to entry for everyone to affordably build and own a home,” Mugabi added.
Mr. Michael Mugabi the Managing Director of Housing Finance Bank giving his remarks at the MOU ceremony.
According to the process flow discussed by the two parties, the kibanja owners simply have to approach Buganda Land Board and open up a file, present proof of ownership of the land, and they will be recommended to Housing Finance Bank for a loan that would cover the entire funding requirement for obtaining a lease hold certificate of title.
At Housing Finance Bank, customers submit their application and supporting documentation, agree to the bank’s terms and conditions, sign the mortgage deeds and lease agreement and the loan will be disbursed. This process, according to Housing Finance, can be concluded in seven working days.
The Chief Executive Officer of Buganda Land Board, Omuk. Simon Kabogoza applauded Housing Finance Bank for being one of the most committed partner banks under BLB’s signature product scalled Lease Access Financing Initiative (LAFI).
“As Buganda kingdom, we believe that the most important document anyone can have on land is a land title. But we also understand that while majority of our people crave land titles, they don’t have the money readily available for title processing. So, we started the LAFI initiative which has so far benefitted more than 2,000 people on Kabaka’s land to get titles through loans from partner institutions. We are proud to say that no client has ever defaulted on their loans,” he said.
Omuk.Simon Kabogoza Buganda Land Board CEO speaking at the MOU signing ceremony
Kabogoza further urged tenants on Kabaka’s land to adopt this initiative and acquire land titles given the existing fragility on land ownership in the country.
“This goes to all bibanja holders out there, whether on Kabaka’s land or not, if you can’t afford to get a title, at least register your land interest with your landlord and pay the annual nominal ground rent (Busuulu). It is the only way you can wade off the rampant land grabbers,” he said, at the function held at HFB offices on August 26, 2021.
He said that Buganda kingdom is pro-development and they believe that a person with a land title can progress better than their untitled counterparts given that a title can be used to acquire credit, get a development plan approved and most importantly, it ensures security of tenure.
dThe CEO of Buganda Land Board Omuk. Simon Kabogoza(seated on right) and MD of Housing Finance Bank(seated on left) signing the MOU