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Economy

35 private firms back Uhuru’s new homes plan

Council of Governors’ Urban Development, Planning and Land committee chairman  Ferdinand Waititu (left) with Transport and Infrastructure secretary James Macharia during the opening of the National Urban Forum on January 15, 2018. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Council of Governors’ Urban Development, Planning and Land committee chairman Ferdinand Waititu (left) with Transport and Infrastructure secretary James Macharia during the opening of the National Urban Forum on January 15, 2018. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

County governments will work in partnership with 35 firms in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Sh2.6 trillion plan to build a million homes in the next five years, officials have said.

Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Secretary James Macharia said 800,000 housing units will be delivered under the public private partnership (PPP) model and 200,000 under a social scheme.

The plan is part of efforts aimed at bridging the country’s housing deficit which stands at 1.85 million units.

“We have realised that this agenda cannot be fully implemented unless we have collaboration between ourselves, the private sector and county governments,” Mr Macharia said in Nairobi on Monday during the launch of the National Urban Forum.

In his re-election manifesto, President Kenyatta talked of building around 500,000 affordable units in five years.

Mr Macharia said 60 private construction firms have so far expressed interest in the project with the ministry shortlisting 35 based on merit.

The government is set to launch the scheme in a month’s time in Mavoko and upscale the project in counties.

“Nobody has Sh2.6 trillion in his pocket but there is money in this market. The idea is to leverage on the private sector to do affordable houses.

“We shall do the roads, water, power and then the private sector will do the work. Already we have shortlisted 35 companies for the pilot scheme which we will launch in Mavoko next month,” said Mr Macharia.

Housing is one of the four sectors of focus in Mr Kenyatta’s “transformational journey” through the second term which comes to an end in 2022.

Others are; enhancing manufacturing to contribute at least 15 per cent of GDP, provision of 100 per cent universal healthcare coverage under the National Hospital Insurance Fund scheme, and food security.

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