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Kenya to partner private landowners on affordable housing

Kenya will partner private landowners to implement a development blueprint on affordable housing, Charles Mwaura, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Housing and Urban Development, said on Friday, February 1, 2019.

Charles Mwaura
Charles Mwaura

Mwaura said that individuals, who own huge tracts of land, have been invited to become partners in the implementation of the mass housing programme.

“We are interested in getting private landowners into the affordable housing programme provided they will comply with the stipulated guidelines,” Mwaura said.

Mwaura added that a legislative framework had been in place to facilitate private investments in low-cost shelter.

Kenya aims to develop 500,000 housing units annually as part of the Big Four Agenda outlined by President Uhuru Kenyatta to transform the country.

Government statistics indicated that Kenya has an annual housing deficit of 200,000 units thanks to bottlenecks linked to high cost of land, archaic regulations and volatility in the real estate sector.

Mwaura said that availability of land is key to bridging housing deficit in the rapidly growing urban centres.

“Private landowners will help us develop projects that would be added to the affordable housing programme pipeline. The government will facilitate strategic partners to deliver low-cost shelter to citizens,” Mwaura said.

The state will invest in supportive infrastructure such as access roads, clean water, sewerage and power to pave way for construction of affordable shelter in major cities and towns, he said

Private landowners will be lumped together with financiers and contractors, who have already been roped in to help implement the affordable housing programme, the official said.

“Currently, we are receiving applications from partners with technical and financial capabilities to develop housing units for the low-to middle-income groups,” Mwaura said.

The affordable housing programme is expected to promote social equity, stimulate economic growth and create an estimated 350,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2022, he said.

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