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Affordable Housing Program to improve student accommodation

Professor Nathan Ogechi, Vice Chancellor of Kisii University, has endorsed an Affordable Housing program that aims to offer dignified accommodation and job opportunities, to university students

Speaking during a public hearing on the Affordable Housing Bill 2023, at the Kisii Agricultural Training Centre, on the outskirts of Kisii town, Prof. Ogechi said the University will be among the first beneficiaries of the program, through the construction of a unicity funded by the housing levy.

The Vice-Chancellor noted the unicity will comprise a student village with 2,520 bed spaces, as well as games and sports facilities, eateries, banking facilities, and multi-purpose halls as part of the project’s first phase.

He pointed out that the Institution has 500-bed spaces at the moment against a population of 27, 187 students, and the available university funding, cannot cater for the construction of additional hostels.

Prof. Ogechi said the housing initiative, will also enhance the University’s international programs, as they will be able to attract and accommodate international students under the exchange programs for university students.

He suggested that University students, particularly those from needy backgrounds, can work at construction sites, during their free time to supplement the limited campus work-study program.

The work-study pay is significantly lower than the student’s earnings from the construction site.

Prof. Ogechi added the program would provide short-term job opportunities to the Jua-kali sector and generate family revenue for the informal businesses, that will be providing meals at the construction site.

The housing initiative will ultimately improve the university’s ambience and promote a sense of belonging to the students and by so doing, encourage the growth of urban education that is crucial for any university in the world.

The construction of a perimeter wall around the unicity, will ensure the safety of the property and its infrastructure’s lifespan.

The National Assembly’s Housing Urban Planning, Public Works, Finance, and National Planning Committees, are holding nationwide public hearings on the Affordable Housing Bill, 2023.

By Mercy Osongo

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