New Social Living Development Project in Mauritius
The island nation of Mauritius is facing a growing challenge in terms of delivering social housing, mainly through the state-owned National Housing Development Company (NHDC), which has been responsible since 1991 for the construction and delivery of social housing units around the country. Although not regarded as a poor country by any means, the low income, middle income and working populations in Mauritius are struggling to access affordable housing units to either buy or rent as not enough houses are being built to meet the existing demand. In spite of the efforts by the Mauritian Government to accelerate housing provision, only 2 357 social housing units were built during a five year period from 2015 – 2020. Considering the fact that the Mauritian National Housing Development Corporation Ltd. (NHDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) have 25, 582 (2021) applicants on their waiting list for social housing – with the numbers growing rapidly – it is clear that the demand for housing far outweighs the pace at which houses are made available in Mauritius. According to a report released by the National Audit Office in June 2021, the growing backlog resulted in 30% of the total number of people on the NDHC’s waiting list, being on the list for more than 10 years and 13% (7,961 households) have been on the list for more than 20 years.
Acknowledging the extent of the social housing crisis, the Mauritius Government, in its June 2020 budget speech, pledged to deliver 12,000 social housing units to help resolve the housing problem for poor and middle-class families. They made MUR12 billion (R4.2 billion) available to focus on the development of 12 000 social housing units over the next three years. To give impetus to this initiative, the New Social Living Development Ltd (NSLD) was incorporated as a private company to deliver the objectives on behalf of the government of Mauritius under the auspicious of the Ministry of Housing and Land. The scope of the project, in terms of the published Request for Proposal (RFP), called for a team of professional service providers to assist with the planning, implementation and management of various housing projects across the country, divided into 8 zones. Ideally placed to deliver on the specifications as set out by the RFP, the BVBS Housing Joint Venture comprising of Bigen and its local Mauritian partners – Vision Architects and Benchmark Consulting Engineers – became part of the social housing solution when its bid for zone 3 in the North-Eastern part of the island, was successful.
All of the partners in the BVBS Housing JV have a solid track record of delivering numerous world class projects across every major sector in Africa and is recognised as a market leader in, amongst other areas, the real estate space. Appointed to provide Project Management, Civil Consulting, Structural Engineering and Quantity Surveying, Architecture and Building services on the project, BVBS is an ideal partner to provide the required infrastructure to help solve the housing crisis. For this project, land has been secured from both Government and certain private land across the country for the development of affordable units, ranging from 60m2 to 75m2.
These developments are being designed in line with industry recognised best practices in a sustainable and integrated fashion to create sustainable human settlements which are both affordable and functional, affording its residents good quality of life.
- Off- site infrastructure upgrades for water supply, roads and storm water
- All internal and on site services required for the development(s)
- All building designs
- Structural designs for associated buildings
- Master Planning for each land parcel
- 1,500 Housing opportunities
- Temporary job creation through construction process
- Long term economic benefits through local skills, enterprise and development
Image Credit: National Housing Development Company (NHDC)
Development Advisory and Impact