Kenya is ranked highly globally with regard to a thriving cooperative movement having an asset base of more than Sh900 billion and deposits worth over Sh600 billion. The movement has continued to grow over the years.
“This gives Kenya a competitive advantage while at the same time providing a great opportunity which many Kenyans have taken advantage of and tapped into, especially in acquiring decent and affordable homes,” said Mr Patrick Bucha, housing secretary at the State department of housing, urban development and public works.
In a statement read by Mr Bucha, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga Mwaura noted that the ministry has recognised the contribution of the cooperative movement in Kenya towards the attainment of affordable housing, which has gone a long way to uplift the living standards of Kenyans, particularly through the provision of decent housing. “The government is aware of the huge potential that housing cooperatives hold in delivery of affordable housing in the Big Four agenda,” he said.
“The strength of cooperatives in the provision of housing has been derived from their ownership of vast parcels of land, and a huge financial asset base through shareholding of their members…” read part of the statement. “It is for this reason that the Kenya Vision 2030 blue-print envisaged that cooperatives had the capacity of contributing 25 per cent of household stocks in urban areas in Kenya,” said Mr Bucha.
He added that there was a need for other housing cooperatives in Kenya to emulate Urithi. “The government alone cannot meet the demand for affordable housing in the country as it is a big project that requires multi-pronged strategies and partnerships to be achieved. Cooperatives have been considered as a very key partner in the Big Four agenda programme of delivering 500,000 affordable and social housing units,” added Mr Bucha.