Top Chinese firms line up for multi-billion shilling housing project

A section of Ngara Estate in Nairobi. PHOTO |
A section of Ngara Estate in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Top Chinese firms are seeking the multi-billion shilling contract to build 1, 500 low-cost homes on Nairobi’s Park Road for sale to workers.

About six Chinese firms, including Sinohydro Limited and China Road and Bridge Corporation that have recently bagged mega infrastructure projects like SGR lines, are among firms that Housing ministry will select to build the one, two and three-bedroom houses.

The project, which will be undertaken in the next two years through a design, build and finance model will see 105 one-bedroom units, 540 two-bedroom units and 855-three bedroom units built on a 7.9 acre parcel of land in Nairobi’s Park Road estate in Ngara.

The estate borders Park Road Primary School and Muslim Academy just next to the central business district.

A tender document for the housing units shows that the developer will be expected to build 400 units from the commencement date of the project.


Upon completion of the first 400 units, the developer will be paid 20 per cent of the contact value, 40 per cent upon project completion and 40 per cent after the defect liability period.

Home owners will then be expected to pay between Sh600, 000 to Sh3 million to occupy the low cost homes.

The 70 per cent drop will be supported by free public land to private property developers and building of access roads, electricity and water connection to housing schemes.

Taxpayers will also cushion the cost of designing houses and sourcing cheaper building technology.

“Private developers should not even be bothered by that (land, infrastructure, power and water) because we are providing all that. All we want them to do is construction,” said Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary James Macharia in a previous interview.

The ministry has mapped out about 7,000 acres of public land for the construction of up to a million low-cost houses in major towns in the county such as Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa by 2022.

Initial estimates put the total cost of the ambitious project – which will include 800,000 units for sale and 200,000 social housing units in the slums at Sh2.3 trillion.

The plan, to be implemented under public-private partnership (PPPs) framework, is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s “Big Four” agenda that targets 500,000 low-cost houses.