NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – Transport and Housing Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said the government will build 8,000 houses in Mavoko on a 55-acre piece of land, with construction expected to kick off next month.
The housing project, he says, is part of the government’s plan for building 1 million houses within the next five years with a target of building 200,000 units every year targeting the middle class.
“Apart from the piece of land in Mavoko, we are considering other locations where the government owns land so that we can build there too,” Macharia said in a press briefing Wednesday.
The ministry is also planning to set up 10,000 units to clear up slums in informal settlements part of its social housing mission.
Macharia said the social housing project will be fully executed by the national government – with the assistance of the National Treasury – while the 1 million house project will include private sector players’ participation.
“The social housing project will be executed within the slums. This is mainly because there is a vast majority of slum dwellers who want to remain within those locations. We are also considering the issue of lack of land. With proper utilization of technology, this is will be possible.”
The National Housing Corporation, a parastatal under the Ministry of Housing, will contribute 6,000 houses to this ambitious target across 8 counties over the next three years.
NHC chairman Francis Gitau Mungai said the parastatal will also construct housing estates with a combined 5,000 units on Eldoret (Uasin Gishu County), Stoni Athi (Machakos County) and Changamwe (Mombasa County) and another 1,000 units in Voi (Taita Taveta County), Kericho, Kisumu, Meru and Nyeri Counties.
“We are cognizant of the fact that majority of Kenyans are yearning to access decent and affordable housing,” Mungai said, with conventional estimates showing Kenya has a shortage of close to 2 million houses.
Mungai says among the issues that face the sector is the availability of land and utilization of new technology.
“There’s also a need to have supporting infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water. Regardless of how good the houses we put up can be, things such as good roads are extremely important,” the Housing CS said.
The two were speaking during the handing of a Sh23.7 million cheque by the National Housing Corporation to the National Treasury from its 2015/2016 fiscal year where it made Sh339.9 million in its pre-tax profit.