NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The cost of acquiring land, cost of construction and low purchasing power are the top challenges facing the provision of decent houses in the country.
This is according to Housing and Urban Planning Principal Secretary Charles Mwaura who says until the country sorts out these issues, there shall be no permanent development in the sector.
“Land in Kenya is extremely expensive due to the high value put on it. The high cost of construction also does not help the situations. All stakeholders need to do their part to ensure we deal with these hurdles as we move Kenya to a house-sufficient country,” Mwaura told the press in Kenya’s capital.
Currently, Kenya is estimated to have a housing deficit of over 2 million units with the bulk of urban population living in slums. World Bank estimates that on average, only 50,000 units are added to the market annually.
Mwaura has urged national and county governments to utilize the numerous plans that have already been laid out to develop the sector, saying something needs to be done sooner than later before the deficit becomes unmanageable.
He, however, assured Kenyans that the government’s plan of providing 1 million affordable houses in the next 5 years is on course. Provision of affordable housing is part President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.
“In the next 6 months, our target is to break ground for 30,000 units in just Nairobi alone as part of our commitment to Kenyans.”
“We also want to emphasis on affordability where we will determine the price of a house based on its maximum cost.”
The government has segmented the housing program into three; – social, low cost and mortgage gap, all dependent on how much the target market earns per month.
A social house will target a person whose income range is Sh0-Sh29,999, while a low-cost house will target a person whose income range is between Sh30,000-Sh49,999. The Mortgage pack will target a person who earns between Sh50,000-Sh99,999.
A one-room house under the social housing category will be estimated to cost about Sh800,000 while a 2 room house will cost about Sh1,050,000.
Under the affordable housing, a bedsitter will cost about Sh800,000, a one bedroom house will cost Sh1 million, a two bedroom will be Sh2 million while a three bedroom will cost about Sh3 million.
“The cost is obviously lower than market rates as the government will have absorbed the cost of land and infrastructure.”