The Municipality of Beira, Mozambique, represented by its mayor Albano Carige and Empowa, signed an agreement to provide access to finance for climate-smart affordable homes for 25 000 families in Beira.
Empowa will be supported in the delivery of homes by local Beira-based property developer Casa Real. This marks a key moment in rebuilding a region which has been among the world’s most impacted by climate change. The devastating 2019 cyclone Idai damaged or destroyed over 70% of buildings in Beira.
Little has been done to date to rebuild housing in Beira as the majority of people in Mozambique lack access to finance. Less than 3% of Mozambique’s urban population can afford local mortgage financing to buy a home.
The agreement lays out the first phase of Beira’s residential plans for which SBU Beira, a local initiative supported by the Dutch government, will provide support in the areas of climate adaptation, water management, and land administration. The Maraza neighbourhood has been indicated as the anchor area for the 25 000 housing project.
Empowa will enable the financing of homes on a lease-to-own basis. The use of blockchain-based technology will be used to promote transparency, accountability and affordability in contractual relations between Empowa, Casa Real and homeowners.
This is not Empowa and Casa Real’s first project. In early 2022 35 families, who could not get loans through the formal banking system, were provided homes under Empowa’s lease-to-buy offering in Beira Mozambique.
Results to date suggest that up to 60% of the city’s 700 000 residents may be able to afford climate-smart homeownership with Empowa’s innovative model. Teachers, nurses, fishermen, technicians, and domestic helpers can now use their formal and informal wages to buy high-quality, climate-smart homes.
Beira’s mayor says “with Empowa’s lease-to-own financing, those living in Beira and earning informal incomes, at least 2/3 of my citizens, can now finally get a loan to invest in their climate-resilient homes. I am so excited they have a prospect to be safer when the next climate-disaster hits Beira.”
Dutch government official Maarten Gischler says “The urban transformation at the frontlines of climate change needs to accelerate. Beira proves the point. It suffered devastating loss and damage from cyclone Idai. More damage can be expected in the years to come. The simultaneous innovations in climate adaptation finance that Empowa and Casa Real provide for vulnerable groups, and the transformation of Beira’s land and water management and urban service delivery that the Dutch, World Bank and others support, can turn the tide. That is what we are working on with the city, collectively”.
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