Shelter Afrique deputy managing director Ositadinma Okonkwo (left) while addressing the press. Looking on is Integrated Property Investments financial advisor Omar Ali. Photo/LIZ MUTHONI A property investment firm has asked the government to offer private investors tax concessions and other incentives to encourage construction of houses. This, it said, will help ease the current shortage. UK-based Integrated Property Investments said tax exemptions would bring down the cost of construction. Managing director Suleiman Dualeh said governments should provide low-priced land to developers for the same purpose if they are to successfully house their citizens. What makes houses expensive is the price of land, said Mr Dualeh. If governments provide land at concession rates, it will bring down house prices. At the same time, Shelter Afrique, a regional housing finance and development institution, and the African Development Bank on Thursday signed an agreement to give Integrated Property Investments a $5 million loan (Sh398.5 million) for a housing project in Dar es Salaam. The loan is to fund the first phase of Bahari Beach Satellite Town in the Tanzanian capital. The aim of the project is to build a self-sustaining hub and reduce the need to travel to the city centre on routine basis. The projects concept is the construction of self-contained mixed-use development with first class housing, recreational and commercial amenities in one place. The complementarities of these services will reduce the need to commute to the city centre for daily routine requirements with all its associated traffic, said Mr Dualeh after the signing ceremony at Shelter Afrique offices in Nairobi. Integrated Property Investments envisions coming up with similar schemes in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. Minister counsellor at Tanzania embassy in Nairobi Verdiana Mashingia urged Kenyans to invest in her country to benefit from her governments reforms in housing. She said Tanzania was in the process of making formal land and housing in unplanned areas. The aim of this programme is to officially recognise such property and finally create security of tenure. Court procedures Ms Mashingia said long court procedures in mortgage lending cases and red tape in the transfer of mortgage properties had been removed. As a result, the bank and borrower will enter into a contract and if the borrower commits a breach, he or she will be given a notice of 60 days to pay, after which his property will be sold without involving the court. Formerly, the procedure for transfer of mortgaged property was long and cumbersome.