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Sonko waives building approval fees for affordable housing projects in Nairobi

Sonko said the move by his administration will pave way for the national and county governments to kick off the affordable housing project that targets to construct 200,000 houses in Nairobi./FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four agenda has received a short in the arm after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko waived building approval fees for affordable housing projects in Nairobi City.

Sonko said the move by his administration will pave way for the national and county governments to kick off the affordable housing project that targets to construct 200,000 houses in Nairobi.

“As evidence of our commitment to support affordable housing, my Cabinet has approved a proposal that building approval fees for all affordable housing projects, be waived. This covers projects being undertaken by the private sector, by the County Government and by the National Government,” said Sonko.

Speaking at Ngara Girls High School during a groundbreaking ceremony for affordable houses by Edermann Property at the River Estate in Ngara, Starehe Constituency, Sonko hailed the move by private firms to invest in affordable housing projects in Nairobi City and appealed to private firms to use local skills and local materials in their housing projects in order to promote the local economy.

The Governor said his administration has now developed the Nairobi County Housing Bill that will create an authority to manage all county houses and the Nairobi County Staff Housing Bill that will guide the County Government in developing houses specifically for the County Government workers.

Sonko further added that the Nairobi County Government recently achieved a milestone when the County Assembly passed the Nairobi City County Sessional Paper Number 1 of 2018 on Urban Housing Renewal and Regeneration Policy that will be used as a guiding framework for all the housing projects in Nairobi.

“With this policy, we are now ready to carry on with our Housing agenda. We will require all developers to align to this document, that guides how County land will be treated, how houses developed will be shared, the criteria of allocating houses, how existing tenants are humanely relocated and how long projects should take,” added Sonko.

The event was attended by acting Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly who is also the MCA for Ngara Ward, Chege Mwaura, Nairobi City County Housing CEC Charles Kerich, the developer of the River Estate, Edermann Property MD John Yang among others.

The Nairobi City County Government is also set to launch its phase one of the affordable housing programme on Ngong Road, Suna Road, Pangani, Jevanjee/Barchelors, New Ngara and Old Ngara estates.

Phase Two will follow soon and some of the estates identified include Bahati, Jericho, Gorofani, Bondeni, Shauri Moyo, Lumumba, Maringo and Ziwani. Other estates will also come thereafter.

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President Kenyatta is also expected to officially launch the national Government’s affordable housing project on Park Road estate in Nairobi.

The affordable housing program aims to deliver 500,000 houses across the country by 2022.

Meanwhile during the event, Sonko helped to raise Sh2.5m for the purchase of a brand new bus for the Ngara Girls High School with his personal donation of sh1m. The Governor also donated Sh1m to the students and teachers of Ngara Girls and he further persuaded Ederman Property to construct a perimeter wall for the school.

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