Shelter Upgrade Loan Finane 2016 Update Back To News
Ikhayalami's Shelter Upgrade Loan Finance programme was launched in January 2013. From as ealry as 2006 when Ikhayalmi started researching and designing upgraded fire and flood resistant shelters we realised there was a tremendous need to enable shack dwellers access to credit to upgrade their lives. However in the early years our focus was and still is on disaster response and re-blocking initiatives at the settlement wide level in order to influence policy and divert resources in favour of the poor. These programmes are highly subsidized by Ikhayalami.
We remained acutely aware that for the thousands of shack dwellers who are not part of any settlement wide subsidized project they are unable to access the trenedous upgrade that the Ikhayalmi shelter upgrade offers. Between 2009 and 2013 Ikhayalami invested in developing systems and procedures to implement a micro finance programme linked to shelter upgrade. In January 2013 Ben Nkuna launched Ikhayalmi’s Shelter Upgrade Loan Finance Programme. We have developed the programme slowly because we wanted to test the water and because we had limited funds to invest in this initiative.
In the past 3 years Ikhayalami has built 52 upgraded fire and flood resistant shelters through our Shelter Loan Finance Programme revolving R155 000 per year. This means that R465 000 has circulated through this programme. Our repayment rate is 88%. Currently we have one loan officer. In November Bankseta did a training programme with 8 youths who are unemployed in anticipation of BankSeta supporting the programme by providing a learnership to the the 8 youths thereby ensuring their employment and the projects roll-out.
Going forward we are confident to expand this programme and raise funds to do so. The main reason is that it undeniably enables urban shack dwellers the right to improve their standard of living. There alternative is to purchase a poorly constructed shack that is made with very thin zinc and thin untreated wood. These ‘solutions’ further exacerbate vulnerability to the elements and ill health. With an Ikhayalami shelter upgrade the family feels far safer from the threats of flooding, shack fires and break-ins due to its strength and durability.