State affordable housing drive ‘added 93 homes last year’


Affordable homes under construction in Nairobi on January 21. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The number of low-cost houses built by the State rose by just 93 units last year, highlighting the challenge the Jubilee government has faced in meeting its goal of adding 500,000 units by the end of its second term.

Economic survey data shows that affordable houses that were built by State Department for Housing increased from 338 units in 2020 to 431 units last year.

The new units of affordable houses that were built last year now bring to 2,613 units that have been constructed by the State since 2017. However, there were 3,480 low-cost houses under construction by State as of December 2021 for Sh6.9 billion.

“The increase in the number of affordable units built by the State Department for Housing can be liked to increased capital injection from the private sector,” said National Construction Authority executive director Maurice Aketch on Monday.

Affordable housing is one of the Big Four agenda items outlined by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the beginning of his second term in 2017.

Private sector

The other sectors are manufacturing, food security and universal health coverage.

The affordable housing programme has been receiving funding from the private sector, boosting plans by the State to build more units in Kenya.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), for example, signed a deal with a local real estate firm last year to develop affordable housing units in Mombasa County.

Under the deal, IFC, the World Bank’s private investment arm, said it would identify suitable international strategic partners for Belco Realty LLP and provide the company with technical support to develop the project.

The partners identified by IFC are expected to invest equity of up to $12 million (Sh1.3 billion) in the project.

In 2020, IFC invested $2 million (Sh216 million) in equity in the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) to help increase access to affordable mortgages and support homeownership in the country.

The creation of KMRC is part of the government’s ambition to deliver 500,000 houses in major towns across the country by the end of next year.

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