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Kakamega to construct affordable housing units

Kakamega County government has partnered with a private developer Pinnie Agency Limited to construct over 3000 affordable housing units within a period of one year at a cost of Sh8 billion.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the initiative was part of the county government’s support to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s actualization of housing within the National Policy framework.

“To this end, my administration has identified land owned by the government for immediate development of these units at Mudiri, Otiendo, Old airstrip within Kakamega Municipalities as well as the Triangle piece of land in Mumias Municipality,” he added.

The County government intends to develop units of different topologies namely the studio, one-two and three bedroom flats as well as Four to Five Bedroom maisonettes.

Governor Oparanya said the cost of the houses shall range between Sh1million for studio houses and Sh3.5million for a three bedroomed house and Sh2.5million for a two bedroomed house.

“Once completed, these houses shall be accessible on the market also through a mortgage scheme for public servants same to the general public and rent for open market for generation of revenue to the county government,” he pointed out.

The Governor further said the project would increase housing stock in the county and improve the living condition of residents, provide appropriate and adequate housing for public servants and members of the public while stabilizing house rent within urban areas.

According to the Kenya Housing census survey 2019, Kakamega’s population grew to approximately 2 million people ranking it the most populous county in Kenya after Nairobi, Kiambu and Nakuru.

“This huge population growth has created a huge demand for housing within the county’s major urban areas such as Kakamega and Mumias Municipalities,” he noted.

For successful implementation of the project, the county government has developed the Kakamega County urban housing regeneration policy to provide a clear framework.

“The partner shall design, finance, build and transfer the project within the agreed framework while the county government shall provide land and facilitate the initial offtake market for project take off,” he pointed out.

He said the county government has also signed a memorandum of understanding on affordable housing with the National Government as one of the implementation frameworks.

“Through this MOU, the affordable housing project shall be eligible to access benefits that are stipulated under the frameworks including tax rebates,” he pointed out.

The Governor urged the developer to encourage participation of special groups including the informal sector in the affordable housing supply chain and use locally produced materials.

In the first phase, the county government is constructing the units on five acres of land at the Mudiri estate after demolishing over 60 old houses which were initially government staff quarters established in 1974.

Each house was only attracting a monthly rent of Sh1070 which was being paid to the county government.

In the new development, the site will consist of 23 blocks accommodating 546 magnificent one bedroom units, 624 two bedroom units and 208 three bedroom units and an ultramodern shopping complex.

In the second phase, the contractor will construct 54 four and five-bedroom high-end maisonette houses at Lubao where Governor Opranya has signed in for a five bedroomed house.

The county government will further build a total of 702 mixed unit development at the old airport site and 660 mixed development units in the Mumias triangle.

In order to efficiently execute this project, Pinnie Agency Limited has sourced for local and international partners to support in financing and construction.

The Wake Up international from the United States is providing 65 per cent financing of the project as the Kenya Commercial Bank provides 35 per cent financing and mortgage facility to aspiring homeowners.

By Moses Wekesa and Tomma Kiteto

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