Market News

60 local and foreign firms bid for Mavoko mass housing project

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A total of 60 local and foreign contractors are competing to put up 8,200 housing units on a 55-acre government land in Mavoko sub-county, Machakos.

Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia said the government is currently scrutinising the bids received after calling for expression of interest.

“We shall soon announce winners of Kenya’s first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) housing project, which will help us establish a mass housing production model to be rolled out on a national scale,” he said.

The CS said the government was committed to delivering 500,000 housing units by 2022—mostly within peri-urban and urban centres priced at Sh3 million and below—with greater emphasis given to use of modern technologies that make houses affordable without compromising quality.

According to the government notice, only companies with a known record of implementing big housing projects in Kenya and abroad within the shortest time possible under the Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) model will be considered.

The model is where a firm funds development of a project to be paid upon completion once the government is satisfied with the final product.

“The developers, either acting individually or in a consortium, should consider quality, cost and time when executing the project that will comprise housing units, social and security facilities with the associated physical infrastructure such as drainage, roads, water and energy connections,” it adds.

The new Public-Private Partnership deal could drive small players out of the market since deep-pocketed firms would enjoy faster approval of plans unlike the small-time Kenyan contractors that are mostly family owned outfits.

To fast-track the project’s implementation, the government said it will provide land for all PPP projects once approved by its housing department and participating county governments.

Among the technologies being fronted are the factory made wall panels, bricks and pillars currently being produced at multibillion-shilling factories in Kajiado, Nairobi and Machakos counties.

If successful, the project targeting the working low income earners in major towns and could slow down the proliferation of slums among other unplanned housing structures that continue to cause death and destruction of private properties.