The Kenya Government is set to launch affordable housing units in Starehe Constituency earlier next month. This has been revealed by Charles Hinga, the Principal Secretary of State Department for Housing and Urban Development.
“As the government, we are launching the affordable housing project in Starehe Constituency in July. This is the Park road project. The construction started in April and by September we intend to have it completed,” he said.
The PS said that in Starehe constituency, the government targets building 2000 housing units.
He said that the project will offer employment opportunities to the youth especially in the Jua Kali sector, who have been contracted to supply over 180,000 metal doors at a cost of 5 billion.He was speaking in Nairobi while launching a two-day summit dubbed “Affordable Housing Investment Summit.”Hinga emphasized the government’s commitment to achieving its agenda by 2022.
“Our target to offer 500,000 houses by 2022 is on track. The country’s housing deficit stands at 4.5 million. We have an ambitious plan to do 50 thousand houses in a year,” Hinga said.Recently, Africa has seen tremendous potential in terms of being a real estate hot spot with 40.6% of foreign investment directed towards the construction and hospitality sectors.
The two-day summit sought to initiate a meaningful dialogue around affordable housing through the dissemination of information with latest trends in the affordable housing sector, opportunities and assisting major stakeholders and developers in addressing administrative and financial challenges.
The government lauded the park road housing project terming it the pacesetter to other projects that it will launch soon.According to Andrew Chimphondah, CEO of Shelter Afrique, who spoke at the event, high urbanization rates is one of the key problems facing housing in Africa. Governments also lack policies to analyze developers and manage them.
He noted that that housing affordability problem is largely attributed to the land rate across the continent.
Chimphondah added that most financial lenders within the continent have a mortgage payment period of 2-5 years which cannot be afforded by the poor.“The land rate in most countries within the continent constitutes 40 per cent of the total house cost hence the price is out of reach for many within the continent,” he said
.He revealed that Shelter Afrique is teaming up with financial service providers across the continent to create sustainable housing financial trust where the repayment rate will be between 10-30 years.
This he said will be able to accommodate the poor. He said that the partnership is already piloting the program in Nigeria and Tanzania. This he said will help bring the cost of a three-bedroom house from Sh10 million to Sh1.5 million per unit.