• Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Home Ownership for the Youth

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Ugandan societies have a stereotype of not considering the youth mature enough until they own a home, making home ownership a social pressure for the striving youth to own a home without fail.

However, for young people starting a life far from their parental household, finding accommodation can be challenging due to financial issues caused by unemployment and no sustainable income.

Experts say employment status, housing features, income trends, social responsibilities of caring for their extended family and young siblings and other demographic descriptors deter home ownership among the youth.

These factors demotivate a young person interested in owning a home by making it a hurdle, thus spending more years renting than building or saving up for a house.

Despite all the challenges some young people face in owning a home, consider Joseph Opondo, a social worker aged 32 whose determination to own a home was beyond having a roof over his head.

To him, home ownership meant cutting low on his expenditure on rent to be able to meet his other needs.

“When I travelled abroad for work, my per diem was 300 dollars. I decided to live a very minimalist life while I was there and managed to save about 1500 dollars,” he says.

He used the money he saved to buy a 50×100 plot of land and invested the other in small investments.

The investments enabled him to raise money to construct rentals on that land. He built three units which took him a year to complete. He is now saving up to build his dream home.

“My dream house should have a big compound and play area for the children, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a garden, a small orchard, and a chapel. I cannot achieve this now when my priority is to establish steady cash flow through strategic investments. Besides, I know from first-hand experience how expensive construction is. It is not something you want to start without enough steady income. I am careful not to sink all my capital and savings in a project that will leave me financially constrained for a long time,” he says.

However, Jacob Mulera aged 28, who is still renting, says that for now, he has decided to invest in other businesses that will enable him to raise money to build his dream home.

“Right now, I feel investing hundreds of millions of shillings in a home is not a smart move at my age. I would rather invest in other income generating activities that require less start up capital than home construction,” he says.

Financial institutions are now sensitising young people through financial literacy seminars about the benefits of owning a home other than renting.

Commercial banks have also tried to reduce their interest rates on mortgages to facilitate young people in home ownership.

The government has also been urged to improve infrastructure and road network and also supply water and electricity to make more places suitable for a home.



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