40,000 low-cost houses to be built in the North Rift region

The houses will be for low income earners who
The houses will be for low income earners who mostly live in informal settlements. FILE PHOTO | NMF 

The North Rift is targeting to construct 40,000 housing units over the next five years following the signing of a partnership between the region and the National Housing Corporation (NHC) under the Big Four agenda. Uasin Gishu County is among the regions where NHC plans to put up at least 25,000 homes across the country.

County Lands Executive Nelson Maritim told Nation the devolved unit will provide 20 acres of land for the construction of the first 2,000 affordable units before they find space for another 3,000 units. The cost, however, is yet to be made clear.

“We are fully behind President Uhuru Kenyatta’s implementation of the Big Four agenda. We are going to use county land to build these houses as advised by the Senate during their sittings in Eldoret last month,” said Mr Maritim.

According to Mr Maritim, the department has set aside Sh35 million for land. “We target lands in Langas, Huruma, Kidiwa, Burnt Forest and Moi’s Bridge and what we are doing at the moment is constructing roads leading to the sites with the help of the Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP),” explained the official.

According to Mr Maritim, the houses will be for low income earners who mostly live in informal settlements.

He said the county has come up with an action plan on how to resettle residents occupying its houses. “The County Government of Uasin Gishu has houses in Macharia, Kiunga and Argwings Kodhek estates and at the moment, we are working on an action plan to see how we shall resettle the current occupants,” he said.

He indicated that there was need to have some government policies on housing amended for effective implementation of the agenda.

Other counties which have embraced the idea are Homa Bay, Mombasa, Kericho, Nyeri, Kakamega, Samburu, Siaya, Machakos and Nairobi among others.

In West Pokot, the national government promised to build 10,000 houses. The county is ready to provide a piece of land.

“We signed an MoU with the national government for 10,000 housing units under its Big Four Agenda and we have identified parcel of land for the project but at the moment we are waiting for them to do the survey,” Elijah Lopuke, Chief Officer Housing and Urban Development told Nation on phone.

He said the county has not allocated any amount to purchase land arguing there is enough space for the project.

Turkana County too has signed a MoU with the Jubilee administration for the construction of 10,000 houses with the county providing parcel of land.

But situation is apparently different in Elgeyo Marakwet who signed MoU with the government for 10,000 houses and finding a parcel of land for the same remains a pipe dream.