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UN agency injects Sh1bn into Kenya mass housing scheme

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The seed funding is aimed at attracting other development partners to chip into the project. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The United Nations Project Services (Unops) has injected Sh1 billion into Kenya’s affordable housing programme targeting decent urban living units for low-income earners.

Unops executive director Grete Faremo said the seed funding is aimed at attracting other development partners to chip into the project expected to raise Sh64.7 billion for the planned 100,000 housing units across Kenya.

“By reducing the investment risks of development activities, we are helping to bring about new partnerships between the private and public sectors. The knock-on effect means unlocking new opportunities and providing jobs for local communities, which all helps drive progress towards the SDGs,” said the Unops boss.

The statement released by the local office quoted him saying the deal will generate jobs across Kenya as well as present a new forum for technology transfer that entrenches use of green technologies in building houses.

“The 100,000 houses are to be constructed using green technologies and energy-efficient solar rooftops, while the implementation work will include local equipment, skills and expertise. The key priority is inclusion of public facilities—children’s playgrounds, schools and community halls,” said the statement.

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The funding gives impetus to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ambitious affordable housing project targeting to avail 500,000 affordable housing units with a retail price of below Sh1 million, social housing worth Sh600,000 and two- and three-bedroom units with a price tag set below Sh3 million.

But the housing projects have faced numerous headwinds with unions and Federation of Kenya employers blocking in court deduction of 1.5 per cent from every workers’ salary to generate a fund that will be spent on assisting would be buyers purchase the houses.

County governments have since provided 7,000 acres of land for the pilot high-rise housing estates to be implemented in 22 counties this year, set for completion within 24 months.

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