In 2010 President Alassane Dramane Ouattara announced plans to build 60,000 housing units. The current deficit is estimated at 400,000 to 600,000 units, with demand growing by 40,000-50,000 units each year. To bridge the shortfall, the state launched the Presidential Housing Plan in May 2013, hoping to add 150,000 units by 2020. Under the programme, developers building social housing would receive incentives including tax breaks and the provision of basic infrastructure by the government. According to the Ministry of Construction, from 2013-17, an estimated 10,000 units had been delivered. Jean-Francois Moreau, CEO of local developer Promogim said the main attraction of the programme was not about exemptions but volume: “The scheme allows developers to build a large number of units simultaneously, allowing for economies of scale,” he told OBG. “The requirements also oblige developers to build vertically, which demands a certain degree of technological know-how that serves to limit entry to the market.”
Three-fifths of the units built under the plan must qualify as social housing, while the remainder can be mid-range or above. Sales of the latter should also allow developers to make up for the lower margins of social housing. “There is a real middle class looking for good-quality homes, of which there is a lack of supply at the moment,” Mohamed Yacoubi, director-general for Africa of Palmeraie Dé veloppement, told OBG. In its early years the programme faced significant delays from many factors, some of them linked to funding shortfalls and infrastructure provision. Initially, authorities said they would provide major infrastructure connections such as roads and water lines, but developers say these have been slow to materialise. Another challenge has been customary rights due to villagers for land used in the construction of projects. In some cases, the state was slow to make payments, prompting villagers to block access to sites. These issues made banks reluctant to lend to developers, causing further delays. Developers say the government is showing more political will in resolving these challenges, with local and foreign firms working on developing projects. In May 2017 the maximum sales price imposed by the government under the presidential plan was increased from CFA10m (€926m) to CFA12.5m (€1.2m) for social housing, and from CFA20m (€1.9m) to CFA23m (€2.1m) for economic housing before taxes.
Prominent works include a number by Moroccan developers, which have benefitted from strong economic ties as well as the presence of several major Moroccan banks in Côte d’Ivoire. According to local media, in December 2017 one firm, Groupe Alliances, delivered a first tranche of 640 economic units at its Les Résidences Akwaba project, located near Abidjan Olympic City. The company has plans to construct a total of 7800 units at the site, with a broader goal to build 14,000 units in the country, 10,000 of which will be classified as social housing.
In 2012 fellow Moroccan developer Addoha agreed to build 9000 units under the programme at an investment of Dh2.2bn (€203.7m). Local media reported in October 2017 that the firm was on track to deliver its first units in early 2018. The homes are located in Koumassi, in southern Abidjan, where Addoha is building a total of 745 units. The firm plans to build 8000 units in Attecoube in the north of the city as well.
Yet another Moroccan firm, Palmeraie Dé veloppement, is targeting to build 10,000 units under the initiative, consisting of 6000 social housing units and 4000 mid-range and high-end units. The company will begin with 2000 social housing units near Songon at a cost of €30m-35m, with work starting in early 2018. In total, taking part in the project are 45 local developers and five international ones. While the number of units having been delivered so far falls short of the government’s goals, a number of projects are set to finish or begin construction in 2018, with about 10,000 additional units expected to be delivered by June 2018.
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