Mobilising pension assets for housing needs - experiences in southern Africa

FinMark Trust

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Date Published 2009
Primary Author Ryan Short
Other Authors Janine King, Omoneka Musa, Timothy Hobden, Linda Sing
Theme Pension-backed Housing Loans


Almost every country in southern Africa suffers from a backlog of housing and especially low-income housing. In addition, in most countries only a small proportion of the population typically has access to traditional sources of housing finance like mortgage loans. A recurrent problem is a shortage of capital for the construction of new housing stock and for capitalising a healthy housing finance market, as well as a shortage of financing products that suit the circumstances of poorer people. However, what is also true of most southern African countries is that each, to a greater or lesser degree, has a retirement fund industry, and that retirement funds are an effective and established means of aggregating large pools of long-term savings and of directing investment into the economy. The question at the heart of this paper is whether and how retirement funds might play a greater role in funding the construction of housing, particularly low-income housing, and in opening up access to housing finance products.

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