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Kenya to lure private sector through affordable housing legislation – Kenyatta #SOTN

Construction of new houses is growing at 7.5 percent of government targets with only 15,000 new units in 2013 against a target of 200,000 housing builds a year in the city. Photo/XINHUA

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – The Government is working on new legislation and policies to incentivize investments in affordable housing by the private sector.

Speaking during the State of the Nation address on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the move is aimed at eliminating barriers to affordable housing investment.

“My dream is one day, in the not-too-distant future, owning a decent home will be within reach of every Kenyan of median and modest incomes.

Families will retire in the evenings to clean, well organized and hygienic houses and Kenya will go to sleep knowing that all its citizens have a sound roof over their heads,” Kenyatta said.

Under the Big Four Agenda, housing is given prominence with Kenyatta promising to deliver one million houses in the next five years during his second and final term as president.

In January, the Housing and Urban Development Ministry shortlisted 35 undisclosed firms to partner with the government in building 1 million houses over the next five years at a cost of Sh2.6 trillion.

The houses include some 8,000 houses under construction in Mavoko on a 55-acre piece of land in the pilot phase with further housing projects earmarked in Kitengela, Athi River and other locations across the country.

In total, the government targets to build 200,000 units every year for the next five years, with some 10,000 targeting slum dwellers under the social housing unit.

“This dream is going to become a reality if we all join hands to eliminate the barriers to its realizationthrough legislation and new policies to incentivize the private sector,” Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta’s sentiments come a week after Kenya National Bureau of Statistics revealed that the cost of building materials and labor in the construction sector increased by 3 percent in 2017 compared to a 1.8 percent growth the previous year.

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In the latest edition of the Economic Survey, the highest growth in the cost of building materials was in residential buildings which increased by 3.8 percent in 2017.

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