The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) has been operating as an independent think tank in South Africa since May 2014, pursuing its mission of making Africa’s housing finance markets work. CAHF’s work extends across the continent, and it is supported by and collaborates with a range of funders and partners.
CAHF brings information to the marketplace to enable stakeholders in the public and private sector to make policy and investment decisions in favour of improved access to affordable housing. Their emphasis is on the role that finance plays in realising this, and they champion market intelligence—data, market analytics and research—to stimulate investor interest and to support better policy. The CAHF is highly networked and engages with stakeholders at the local, national, regional, continental and global levels to support the realisation of investment towards affordable housing in Africa.
Vision: An enabled affordable housing finance system in countries throughout Africa, where governments, business and practitioners work together to provide a wide range of housing options accessible to all.
Mission: To make Africa’s housing finance markets work, with special attention to access to housing finance for the poor, through the dissemination of research and market intelligence, the provision of strategic support, and ongoing engagement in both the public and the private sector; supporting increased investment, cross-sector collaborations and a market-based approach.
Goal: To see an increase of investment in affordable housing and housing finance throughout Africa—more players and better products, with a specific focus on the poor.
CAHF’s work covers four main areas: (1) understanding housing markets, (2) monitoring housing sector performance, (3) exploring innovation in housing finance, and (4) supporting housing finance market development. As part of this approach, CAHF regularly undertakes and commissions research; develops market intelligence on country and regional housing markets; hosts forums, strategy discussions, and workshops; and participates in local and international conferences and debates on housing finance.
All of CAHF’s work is directed at shifting investor interest towards the much larger market of the emerging middle class in urban areas across Africa, and using this to champion both improved housing conditions and economic growth, while also addressing inequality with the asset potential that housing offers.
Since its formation, CAHF has come to be known as the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of information on housing finance in Africa. Its research and other material is regularly used by investors, lenders, pension funds, and other financiers; legal practitioners, researchers and academics; policy makers and other housing finance practitioners to scope and pursue the opportunities for extending access to housing finance across Africa. As a thought leader in the sector, CAHF is a respected advocate for financial inclusion in housing finance in Africa.
CAHF is also the Secretariat to the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF).