Housing financier Shelter Afrique and Karibu Homes Parktel have completed construction of 288 middle-class homes in Athi River.
Speaking when he launched the Sh355 million Riverview Estate comprising one, two and three-bedroomed houses priced at between Sh2.5 million to Sh5.8 million, Karibu Homes Parktel founder and managing director Ravi Kohli said Kenyan lenders should moot long-term construction financing products to fast-track realisation of the affordable housing programme.
“When you are raising construction finance for a project of this scale the local banking sector does not look beyond three or four years of construction loan. Shelter Afrique has cashed in on this space and has been instrumental in providing construction loans at very competitive terms,” Mr Kohli said.
Shelter Afrique chairman Daniel Nghidinua said the uptake of the first housing development with 319 housing units informed their second investment that will increase availability of decent housing units to 569, totalling an investment of Sh667 million by the pan-African lender.
“We have financed the development of the 569 affordable units in two phases. We are eager to replicate the model of delivery elsewhere,” he said. The Athi River project comes hardly a week after Shelter Afrique in partnership with local housing development lender HF Development and Investment announced completion of 248 units at Richland Pointe at a cost of Sh990 million.
Shelter Afrique managing director Andrew Chimphondah said local lenders must moot new financial products that respond to the housing needs of residents. “For us to address the housing crisis, we need to scale development of houses targeting the lower-end of the market. Some of the houses are priced at below Sh3 million proving access to the lower end in terms of low-income housing,” Mr Chimphondah said.
Kenya estimates to have a housing shortage of between 150,000 and 200,000 units in urban areas and more than 300,000 units in rural areas yearly.