Mauritius: Utilizing Subsidies to Increase Affordability


Governments can utilize housing affordability tools (HATs) in three areas: as subsidies (which can take many different forms) for reducing the costs to build or operate housing, to reduce the cost or purchasing or occupying a home, or to other stakeholders involved in housing provision. Despite the diversity of HATs, governments in Sub-Saharan African have had limited success in using them to improve housing affordability, as subsidized housing still doesn’t meet affordability criteria.

In Mauritius, one of the only countries on the African continent with a GNI per capita higher than or on par with the least expensive formal dwelling, subsidies have targeted those with formal incomes and developers. There is a Government Sponsored Loan (GSL) offered by the Mauritius Housing Corporation, which has a maximum of $10,585 with a 25-year term, and beneficiaries must have a monthly income over $365 along with a regular savings track record. There is also a subsidy program for the provision of land to build on and technical assistance, as well as a subsidy for purchasing building materials. Finally, developers are incentivized to develop residential units so long as 25% of the units are reserved for low-cost units at a fixed sale price.


World Bank Group. (2015) Stocktaking of the Housing Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa : Challenges and Opportunities. World Bank, Washington, DC.