Church bets on real estate to survive Corona shockwaves
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country, it is no doubt religious institutions are adversely affected as revenue streams, majorly from church contributions and well wishers decline.
One church, St Joseph Catholic church Tudor in Mombasa is exploring alternative streams of income by tapping into the property market to stay afloat.
Bishop Butler Wing pastoral centre, a Sh150 million state- of- the-art facility on a 3.8 acre piece of land located at the heart of Tudor was developed through church contributions and donations from stakeholders and is expected to raise revenue for supporting its social programmes.
“We started this project in 2016 with a vision of hosting church confrences and groups from various parishes, but with declining church contibutions during this pandemic, we are expanding our scope and leveraging what we already have to create multiple streams of income,” said Mombasa Catholic Archbishop Martin Kivuva, adding, “We have also made prices for the units affordable for the middle class population.”
Guests are charged Sh3,500 per night inclusive of bed and breakfast, making it among the cheapest accommodation facilities in the region.
“We are targeting middle income earners who cannot afford expensive apartments within the city.
The conference rooms are going at a negotiable fee of Sh50,000 a day,” he said.
The facility has been installed with a solar system, which produces about 90 kilowatts per day enough to power the entire premise including all the 48 self-contained units and the lifts.
This has cushioned the institution from the high electricity charges as well as putting the church ahead of the rest in terms of compliance with World Bank’s green housing standards.
“Paying for electricity was very expensive so we decided as a church to invest in the over 280 solar panels to subsidise on our power usage for the entire church compound,” Kivuva said.
The Archbishop urged churches to adopt similar or other revenue generating avenues to cushion them in event existing revenue streams shrink.