NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya needs at least Sh5 trillion to adequately address the issue of affordable housing.
This is according to Pan African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique which says the country requires focused political leadership to achieve the goal even as it works to make affordable housing a reality under the Big 4 agenda.
“We are encouraged by the efforts the Government of Kenya through the inclusion of Affordable Housing as a key priority in implementing the BIG 4 Agenda on the supply side, and the establishment of the Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company to improve access to mortgage lending on the demand side,” Shelter Afrique CEO Andrew Chimphondah said.
The finding by the development financier comes two and a half months after Principal Secretary, Housing Urban Development Charles Hinga said the country had surpassed funding the housing agenda, after it received investment offers of almost Sh3 trillion, which was way above set target of Sh2 trillion.
“Investors are upbeat about this project. We received investment offer of $22 billion in the first round and a third of the amount in the second round from across the world,’’ Hinga said.
The housing project is expected to deliver one million housing units in next five years to plug the gap estimated at between 1.8 million and 2 million units, according to government data.
A total of 800,000 houses are expected to be built under the public private partnership model, while 200,000 will be put up under the social scheme.
Housing Shortage across the continent
According to Shelter Afrique, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are among countries with growing affordable housing deficits across the continent in excess of 2 million units.
Overall, the continent needs more than Sh144.5 trillion in funding to effectively address the growing housing crisis that has seen an overall shortage of an estimated 56 million housing units.
Out of this, more than 90 percent, or 45 million units, are in the affordable housing bracket.
Chimphondah said the housing crisis on the continent is as a result of a combination of factors that include high population growth and increased urbanization.
Other factors include poor urban planning, dysfunctional land markets, rising construction costs, proliferation of informal settlements, and underdeveloped financial systems.
“The solution lies in a well-coordinated and collaborative effort among all stakeholders, including governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector represented by both established developers and financial institutions.”
“If we do not intervene, we are going to see the surge in slums and substandard dwellings across Africa,” he added.