ShelterSol Finance is a registered Microfinance institution that focuses on access to housing for the low income earners. Armed with a dual financial and social mission, ShelterSol Finance believes that access to housing is a basic human right offered to even low-income earners. It is true that the poor can repay very well. Solidarity groups are an alternative form of security that helps many to access credit which is in line with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s financial inclusion strategy. ShelterSol finances and constructs houses for low-income earners in less than three months and the loan is repayable over 60 months while one is already sheltered.
ShelterSol believes that anyone who can pay rent in town can afford to build his or her house. Taking an example of a person earning $400, pays rent of $200 for two rooms in Harare’s high-density suburbs leaves the person with $200 inadequate for households needs that include food, transport, health care, clothing and school fees. In five years the family will have spent $12 000 on rentals, which is good enough to buy a fully-developed stand and even building a core house. ShelterSol Finance offers a new lease of life with affordable monthly installments for owning that dream house.
ShelterSol targets low-income earners organised in groups and individuals who have stands with approved house plans. The groups can be cooperatives; work based housing groups and associations. They give housing finance to even those in the informal sector and are not particular about having title deeds of the stand. ShelterSol knows that it is an uphill task for a low-income earner to own a stand with an approved plan hence it has plans to acquire land, service that land within a year, build affordable houses and sell them using affordable micro-mortgages to low-income earners.
ShelterSol has commenced its housing finance and construction operations in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo for Sidojiwe Housing Cooperative made up of 450 members who are low-income earners, with the majority being informal traders and vendors. Some of the houses have been completed and the beneficiaries are now proud owners of their houses. The cooperators are hailing the affordability of ShelterSol’s housing loans because they are paying monthly instalments just like rent paid in Cowdray Park only for five years.