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Gov’t constructs more affordable houses

Kiambu County is one of the 29 counties, which have signed MOUs with the National Government to facilitate the construction of more affordable houses within their jurisdictions.

Government reckons the housing deficit in the country is acute particularly in the urban centres where the shortage stands at 2 million units every year.

The implication of this has been a high cost of construction of houses, thereby driving most Kenyans to the informal settlements

Speaking in Kiambu today Government Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said   the government is bridging this gap by bringing the cost of construction, and the cost of owning a house from the previous Sh11 million per unit on average to Sh3 to 5 million.

Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna addressing the media in Kiambu County during the inspection of the affordable housing programme under the Big 4 Agenda of the Government projects dubbed Boma Yangu. Spokes said that the construction is almost complete and the allocation of the houses will be done in a fair and transparent manner once one is qualified. Photo by Norah Bochere

Kiambu already has 193 completed civil servants’ houses within Kiambu road and the government spokesperson promised more will be coming.

“The foundation has already been set and currently, there are approximately 10,000 ongoing projects in the Country which cumulatively will realise 180,000 housing units, a big step towards achieving the stated 500,000 units a year objective,” Oguna said.

Oguna further explained that in the Affordable Housing project the government has been able to put up three categories of products to cater for the pocket of everyone, including Mama Mboga.

“The AHP categories include one, Affordable – a product designed for individuals earning not more than Sh30,000 per month whose cost ranges from Sh1.5 million for one bedroom to  Sh4.5 million for three bedrooms. Second category,  Social – for individuals earning between  Sh30,000 and Sh100, 000 and finally Urban – for individuals earning more than Sh100,000 that is designed for individuals who are able to afford a little more, but at a cost that is below the normal market rate,” Col Oguna explained.

He further said the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is also in the process of constructing an additional 60,000 residential houses in the informal settlements within Nairobi County. Ground breaking of this mega project is to be conducted in the coming days.

“The  NMS in conjunction with AHP have planned to construct  more housing  units in slum  areas like Mukuru (Meteorological Land) 15,000 units, Kibra Soweto A & B 4,500 units,  Shauri Moyo and Starehe A 8,500 units, Shauri Moyo and Starehe B 4,400 units,” added the government spokesperson.

In order for Kenyans not to fill the pinch when it comes to owning houses, Oguna  said the government is working in partnership with local banks such as ABSA, NCBA, Co-operative Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Housing Finance Corporation, and Equity Bank who are extending credit facilities at an interest of below 10 per cent  to potential home owners.

The Jua Kali sector , Oguna noted has also benefited  through provision of material that are locally made such as windows and doors to the tune of  Sh160 million bringing ripple effect in the sector.

“The role of the Government is to provide a conducive environment for private developers and also those working in manufacturing industry  hence in order to construct affordable houses government has provided incentives such as 16 percent VAT waiver for all construction materials as well as 4 percent stamp duty waivers for potential home owners,” spokesperson said .

Meanwhile, Oguna called on citizens to refrain from vandalising government infrastructure as it derails development projects and affects the common mwananchi.

The Government has for the last 10 years been pushing for affordable housing projects as enshrined in the constitution under Section 43(1)(b) and as contained in the Social Pillar of Vision 2030 to improve the quality of life of all Kenyans

Col Oguna made the remarks today while giving an update on the status of the government project on affordable housing (AHP) at the Kiambu civil servants housing scheme.

By Grace Naishoo

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