4th February 2013
A pioneering project from Paradigm Housing Group that sees the first UK housing association invest in an African social housing association has been unveiled at the National Housing Federation Board Members Conference in Birmingham.
Working in partnership with Homeless International and The Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI), Paradigm has set up a newly-formed housing association called Affordable Housing Solutions in Tanzania. Initially building 136 new homes for slum dwellers who have been evicted from a shantytown close to the capital city, Dar-es-Salaam, Affordable Housing Solutions will access funds for the development from a £200,000 loan from the Buckinghamshire-based housing group and £120,000 loaned by Homeless International. Once the operations are fully functional, Affordable Housing Solutions will collect the rent, manage the community and tenancies as well as maintain and repair the homes. Affordable Housing Solutions is developing the homes and will use the rent to repay the loans based on the UK housing association development model used worldwide by Homeless International to address the needs of the rapidly growing urban slum communities. As well as investing in the new properties, Paradigm has also helped to recruit its first member of staff to oversee the project. Khadija Gogo has been appointed as Affordable Housing Solutions Project Manager and will visit Paradigm’s operations to learn first-hand how housing associations in the UK work on a day-to-day basis. Formed in 1999, Paradigm currently manages more than 12,000 homes across several counties, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, supplying a range of shared-ownership and rent accommodation. Speaking at the National Housing Federation Board Members Conference, Andrew Main, Executive Director of Business Development at Paradigm, said: “Paradigm have been providing much-needed affordable homes across the south east of England and east midlands for the last ten years, and we are using that experience and know-how to help support those in need in Tanzania. “We believe Affordable Housing Solutions will provide a real future for both those who will be residing in one of the 136 new properties that will initially be developed, but also for those gaining skills to help build the new homes in under-used land close to Dar-es-Salaam.” Larry English, Chief Executive of Homeless International commented: “We have been working with CCI for over five years helping to build the capacity and skills needed to attract the investment needed to make this project scalable, replicable and sustainable. We are delighted to be working with Paradigm and making the scheme a reality for some of the poorest people living in the world today.”