Wednesday, 30 May 2018 18:16

PLANS UNDERWAY TO ADDRESS AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE COUNTIES

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In the quest to provide affordable housing to the people of Kenya, the National and County Governments are exploring joint solutions to improve the housing conditions countrywide. In a meeting held on 29th May 2018, between the State department of Housing and Urban Development and CECs in the Land Planning and Urban Development docket as well as the County Attorneys from all the Counties, the parties stressed on the need to work together towards the realization of an orderly development, through urban planning, affordable housing and provision of infrastructure within the County.
Some of the key activities as proposed by the state department include provision of social and low cost housing targeting citizens who earn between KSH.0-15000 and KSH. 15000 to 60000 respectively.
The 5year project envisions that each County will develop at least 2,000 units per financial year beginning 2018/19. To determine the needs of the specific counties a County demand analysis will be conducted therefore, the 2000 units per county is not static but rather will be guided by the needs assessment.
The Housing Secretary, Mr. Bucha noted that in the framework of engagement between the two parties, all should be able to provide land for the project especially improvement on existing National Government housing projects that are in the Expensive mortgages and high interest rates on loans have made it hard for the majority of Kenyans to access financing for homes. Of concern to the County representatives was a clear direction with regards to financing of the project, ownership and obligations of both levels of government. The Chairman of the CEC’s Caucus Mr. Nge’no requested the state department to clarify the glaring issues on how the housing program will be financed from both the County and National Government.
To address the financing challenge, the Government is putting in place different models to ensure financing of the program especially in provision of affordable and reasonable mortgage rates for citizens. Some of the models being explored are through use of the National Housing development fund that will target money from pension funds, Saccos and banks as well as individual Kenyans’ savings, the Kenya mortgage financing company, pension funds, cooperatives etc.

Up to this end, some counties have already signed a memorandum of understanding to initiate the engagement between the two levels of government in delivering affordable houses. For instance, Homabay County which is facing a serious housing crisis has engaged the State Department of Housing to review and help come up with a housing prposal. The state department has so far provided technical support to the Counties in mapping and engineering surveying and development of plans for housing. This will go a long way in building the technical capacity of the County officers to be able to undertake any other such kind of an exercise in the future. The County has also engaged all other relevant institutions both county and national in this process. This includes the National Land Commission, universities, County Assembly, Executives etc in the spirit of collaboration. It is the expectation of each one of us that the Kenyan citizens will be able to afford quality decent houses.

Provision of Affordable housing is the Governments key agenda for the period 2018- 2022

Read 550 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 18:56

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