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Habitat for Humanity Tanzania

Contact information

Box 105506
Dar Es Salaam
Fax: +255 222461340
Phone: 222461341

Habitat's work in Tanzania

Number of families served this year: 

Country Profile

The housing need in Tanzania

Lack of access to finance is one of the major bottlenecks to improved housing. The majority of dwellers in Dar es Salaam’s dense settlements earn their living through small business and other informal means. Small daily incomes make it difficult to obtain the lump sum of money necessary to undertake home construction or make a meaningful home improvement. There are few options for low income households to access the finance needed to build.

This has meant that homeowners are building informally and incrementally. Incremental building is a self financing strategy. In Dar es Salaam, families often save in the form of cement blocks, which are resistant to the elements and not frequently stolen when left on a building site. When sufficient fundsare available, a foundation can be laid, and later walls build. Structures can remain unroofed and unoccupied for long periods of time because saving for the roof is difficult for most low income families. They cannot be bought gradually and are often stolen. Once the roof is completed a familiy will often move in without completing health and sanitation measures for a healthy home.


The two-year-old twins of Habitat homeowner Subira Simai.


This Habitat homeowner partnered with the MAKAZI BORA program and took a home improvement loan.

Habitat for Humanity in Tanzania

In July 2009, HFH Tanzania launched a housing microfinance program as a means to assist residents of Dar es Salaam’s informal settlements to improve their living conditions through access to affordable housing finance. HFH Tanzania developed the MAKAZI BORA home improvement loan which is designed to support ongoing incremental building. MAKAZI BORA roughly translates to ‘improved housing’ in Kiswahili and has proven quite popular with local residents. The loans are highly flexible and uses can include completing unoccupied houses, finishing already occupied houses, extending extra rooms onto houses, repairing worn out components of existing housing, and building auxilary structures such as a latrine or outdoor kitchen.

MAKAZI BORA loans allow the homeowner to maintain control over their housing process and apply housing microfinance to their unique housing needs. The MAKAZI BORA loans help families at all stages of building. Access to housing finance brings decent housing faster and according to homeowners’ own housing priorities.

HFH Tanzania is a member of the Housing Microfinance Working Group Tanzania, which promotes the expansion of sustainable housing microfinance in the country. Members of the group meet monthly to share experiences and lessons learned in the developing practice of housing microfinance.


Country facts

Capital : Dodoma

Population : 41,050,000

HIV Prevalence : 6.2percent


Habitat facts

When the program started : 1986

Blog :

Video : HFH Tanzania on YouTube 

Housing Solutions : Housing Microfinance