Investigating the potential of public private partnerships (PPPs) in the real estate sector.
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The traditional way of procuring public infrastructure and services by the public sector is increasingly becoming unviable particularly in developing countries because of the budget constraints. Growing investment requirements have shown that public financing is limited and often inefficient. This has necessitated the consideration of public private partnerships (PPP) which constitute a viable option and may even dominate infrastructure and service delivery in developing countries in the years to come. This study is aimed at investigating the potential of public private partnerships in the Real Estate sector. The study focused on three objectives; to determine the problems/gaps in the Real Estate sector, to determine the suitability of using public private partnerships (PPPs) in solving these problems within the Real Estate sector, to establish the challenges faced when using public private partnerships (PPPs) to solve the problems within the Real Estate sector. In order to obtain primary data, the study employed questionnaires with open and close ended questions. A sample of 13 officials in the PPP unit and 15 officials from Real Estate companies were involved in the study. The findings of the study indicated that a number of housing projects that involved partnership between GoU and NGOs, foreign entities (for example UN-Habitat) exist. Others that exist include the Kakajjo estate, Bujjuko low-cost housing project as well as the Housing finance Bank and Comfort Homes arrangement in Kyadondo, Wakiso district. In a PPP language, these partnerships have no clear definition but they in effect try to tackle the housing deficit problem. These partnerships provided knowledge and insight on how PPPs in the housing sector can be formulated and run. Besides the housing sector, the study findings revealed two projects have been implemented under the PPPs in Kampala district that is the Kampala Entebbe Express highway and the Umeme concession. Another finding revealed that PPPs could greatly fetch out private sector knowledge and innovation to bear housing development. Above all if PPPs are effectively employed to focus on bridging the housing gap in the country, they can greatly improve the overall infrastructure in Kampala city. Findings portrayed that there are a number of challenges faced when implementing PPPs and these include; lack of transparency within the PPP key players, political interference, fear of losing control over assets, mistrust of private sector involvement and weak public sector institutions. Some of the recommendations are that there is need to prioritize and enhance the implementation of PPP projects, anti-corruption agencies should be emphasized and finally sensitization of the institutions about public and private cooperation.