The much-awaited houses under Kenya’s affordable housing program is almost becoming a reality for most Kenyans following the intervention of Chinese and Qatari multinationals who have vowed to construct 300,000 housing units.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that upon a visit to each of the countries, two Qatari firms committed to construct 200,000 houses while a Chinese multinational pledged to build at least 100,000 houses.
“Discussions with the Qatari investors are progressing. This will go a long way towards achieving the Big Four Agenda target of building 500,000 affordable homes across the country,” the minister stated without mentioning the names of the firms.
The Kenyan government had set the initial target of 500,000 by 2022 to fill the 1.84 Mn house deficit in Kenya, it also set aside USD 600 Mn for the construction of affordable houses from the private sector.
Currently, the production of housing units in the country is less than 50,000 units annually below the targeted the provision of 200,000 housing units for all income levels.
According to UN-Habitat, at least 56 percent of Kenyans live in slums. As at March 2019, more than 100,000 Kenyans had registered with the Boma Yangu portal which collects data which will be used to allocate the houses.
These high numbers reflect Kenyans’ increased appetite for the low-cost houses which will be offered at a much lower price than the market rate.
Principal Secretary, Housing Urban Development Charles Hinga also said that Kenya has surpassed funding for the affordable housing agenda, in the first round, it received an offer of USD 22 Bn while in the second round, it received a third of the amount in the second round.
Some of the investors include Pan African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique who injected USD 2Mn in the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company which operates as a private sector-driven company implementing the government’s affordable housing plan.
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