Therein is a triangle of sorts: the builder, the funder and the buyer.

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Building, funding and buying homes

8M Construction Digest believes that in order to provide  adequate housing to Ugandans, the right property developers will have to plan, design and construct value for money houses, which they can easily sell to the right needy property buyers, who will seek and  get funding from the right property/home loan providers.  Comfort Homes has already signed a memorandum of understanding with reputable financial institutions which will provide home loans to those customers who decide to buy houses put up by Comfort Homes.  Comfort Homes emphasizes that they bring smiles with affordable homes to customers. Many customers yearn for dream comfortable homes.  Therein is a triangle of sorts: the builder, the funder and the buyer. The 8Ms of construction – Markets, Methods, Management, Money, Materials, Manpower, Machinery, and Mindset – must be sought and coordinated for the successful building, funding and buying affordable homes.

Our reporter had a face-to-face interview a fortnight ago with the Executive, Sales and Legal of Comfort Homes, Ms Viola Kirabo. Below are excerpts:

Q: Can you introduce yourself and your company to our readers in relation to the service you provide to Ugandans and East Africans? What motivates you to build for the homebuyers?

A: I am the executive, Sales and Legal of Comfort Homes. Our vision at Comfort Homes is a quality home for every Ugandan. Our mission is to provide quality, value-for-money and low-cost homes with best-of-construction materials for all Ugandans according to their budget. Furthermore, we wish to create in this country a skyline of unique colonial and modern designs always, by hiring experienced architects, project consultants, unmatched layout concepts, definitely using local materials as well as a skilled and casual local workforce.  

We started in Uganda in 2015. We have so far registered success in four projects totalling about 200 homes. We are motivated to play in the Ugandan market because of the conducive atmosphere for business and the friendly attitude of both Ugandans and the Government.

Q: In relation to the ‘Markets’ factor, why the housing industry?  

A: We are aware that currently there is a shortage of low-income, middle and even high-income housing in Uganda. Many are undertaking the construction of their dream homes on their own. Some are succeeding by eventually getting a home completed. However, many are failing in several ways: the home may be finished at an exorbitant price, leaving them economically wounded to deathly consequences; they may also end up with a poor-quality structure and finish. This is because they may not be experts in building quality homes within a defined budget. And this is where we derive our strength at Comfort Homes. We are therefore in the market for providing value-for-money homes at affordable prices.

Q: Uganda is developing a BUBU (“Buy Ugandan, Build Uganda”) policy. Is Comfort Homes in agreement with this?

A: We at Comfort Homes welcome it. We believe that where we have local materials and resources, the buyer stands to benefit from the accrued savings when our operational costs reduce. We are glad to say, there are abundant local good-quality construction materials such as cements, bricks, sands, timbers, steel and others.

Comfort Homes has a policy to use local products and minimize operational costs, thereby increasing profitability for its customers. We import only if there is a supply shortage or non-availability of local materials.

Q: ‘Manpower’ relates to the men and women you employ in your company. What is your take on this? 

A: We are glad to say we employ a dedicated workforce and train them, thereby imparting knowledge transfer.

Q: You claim to provide value-for-money homes at an affordable cost. How affordable?

A: We are currently selling spacious two-bedroom flats at Shs153m and Shs168m, and three-bedroom flats at Shs199m, respectively, in Naalya, and one-bedroom flats at Shs47m in Gayaza with condominium mailo titles and a dedicated car park. This pricing and arrangement speak a lot about Comfort Homes.

Q: Lastly, what message do you have for our readers and your stakeholders?

A: Come to Comfort Homes and acquire your dream comfort home.

At this juncture, the use of anecdotes to marshal out the points may be necessary, and you may also go the way of telling them why it is this field and not the other field.

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