Treasury allocates Sh6.03bn to Housing, but Parliament wants cost drivers addressed

According to the Parliament Budget Watch 2018, Sh1.5 billion will go towards the construction of second phase of the 7,394 housing units for National Police and Kenya Prison Services/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 7 – The National Treasury has allocated Sh6.03 billion towards housing projects under the Big Four in the 2018-2019 financial year.

According to the Parliament Budget Watch 2018, Sh1.5 billion will go towards the construction of second phase of the 7,394 housing units for National Police and Kenya Prison Services.

At the same time, Sh1 billion will be used in the second phase of 440,000 affordable housing units while Sh2 billion will be used in the construction of social housing units.

Lastly, Sh1.5 billion will be used in the civil servants housing scheme, a mortgage which will benefit 1,220 government employees.

During the period under review, the government targets to construct 83,000 units targeting urban centers.

These include some 31,000 units in Nairobi and Naivasha under the presidential flagship program; another 12,000 units under the slum upgrading program.

The government also expects counties to boost the social housing project by securing land for at least an additional 40,000 units.

The projects are under President Uhuru Kenyatta Big Four Agenda where he promised to provide 500,000 affordable housing by 2022.

Parliament has however urged the government to address cost drivers in the real estate sector which include land, construction materials and design, documentation process and mortgage financing.

The PBO advises players to keep an eye on several indicators that include policies government will institute to lower the cost of building houses as well as mode of financing.

“The houses should not be too expensive to build. This project is also best funded through the private sector and efforts should be made to identify private investors.”

MARGARET NJUGUNAH :I'm a business reporter based in Nairobi, Kenya. I'm passionate about feature stories on personal finance, development and technology.