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Economy

British investors to build 80,000 low-cost houses

Charles Hinga
Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga when he received 228 affordable housing units on January 16 in Ngara, Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE 

The government’s bid for affordable housing has received a major boost after British investors inked a deal to develop 80,000 new units across the country.

Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said the affordable housing programme (AHP) deal was sealed during last week’s inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit held in London.

The State last year embarked on a bid to demolish old bungalows and replace them with high-rise apartments in the capital Nairobi to provide cheap and affordable houses.

“During the UK tour, we managed to get potential investors for 80,000 units, 30,000 of them under Nairobi Urban Renewal and 50,000 as rental units,” said Mr Hinga.

Last week, a statement by the British High Commission in Nairobi said the deals cutting across housing, finance, renewables, and entrepreneurship “will create a new lasting partnership that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth to Kenya.”

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pitched £1.3 billion (about Sh170 billion) business opportunities to a Kenyan delegation led by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the inaugural in London.

Under the AHP, Nairobi is looking to demolish old bungalows and replace them with high-rise apartments in the capital Nairobi to provide cheap and affordable houses to residents.

The move is part of the urban renewal project to build 100,000 units for slightly more than 600,000 city residents living in dilapidated and rundown estates built in the colonial era.

Nairobi County Assembly Planning and Housing Committee has already recommended the demolition of the bungalows built in the 1970s and 80s, saying they had deteriorated due to neglect.

The bungalows set to go down are in Uhuru, Jeevanjee, Old Ngara, Pangani and Ngong Road estates where the majority of government officials used to live.

The AHP alongside food security, universal healthcare and manufacturing are President Uhuru Kenyatta’s four pillars that would form the basis of his legacy.

The national AHP targets to build at least 500,000 new homes by 2022.

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