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Public, Private Partnership key in achieving affordable housing

The  government is collaborating with relevant stakeholders to fast track the delivery of the 500,000 affordable and social housing units by 2022, so as to meet the current deficit of 1.85 million.

The government is therefore banking on public private partnerships in its bid to build these social amenities with the Qatar government indicating that it was ready to invest US dollars 3.5 billion (Sh 3.5 billion) towards 200,000 affordable housing units, an initiative which is key in the Jubilee’s big four agenda.

A strong public private partnership is therefore essential so as to bring on board the expertise, the technology, the finances, the infrastructure, incentives and all the requisite requirements needed to make this program a success.

The Ministry of Transport and Housing Cabinet Secretary (CS), James Macharia pointed out that housing is stipulated in the Constitution as a basic human right and human need, third to food and clothing with both social and economic benefits.

Macharia noted that last year, the government also signed a deal on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOP) with the latter agreeing to deliver 100,000 affordable housing units.

“The affordable housing agreement between Kenya and UNOPS is part of the UN agency’s Social Impact Investment Initiative (S3i), a programme that underlines UN’s commitment to fostering innovative financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” stated the CS.

Macharia indicated that if the agreements by Qatar government and UNOPS with Kenya were implemented, Kenya’s efforts towards the realization of the ambitious affordable housing agenda as outlined in the Government’s Big 4 development blueprint would be realized.

The CS further stated that for the Government to meet the target of delivering 500,000 affordable and social housing within the stipulated time, adequate financing is required, and as such it calls for a concerted efforts from all actors in housing sector to collaborate in the provision of housing in the country to meet.

Macharia in a statement read by his Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS),Chris Obure during staff sensitization workshop held in Nairobi  on Thursday stated that housing is one of the principal sectors that could revitalize economic growth and a key driver of development.

“Investment in housing and related infrastructure and services has a multiplier effect of 7 times on the national income triggered by forward and backward linkages through additional investments in building materials production, transportation and marketing,” said the CS.

The Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary (PS), Charles Hinga Mwaura on his part observed that they would be delivering this plan in phases and as such, would start off with some flagship projects that would provide about 100, 000 units and we would work towards ramping the government’s vision of delivering 500,000 homes, all over Kenya, over the next five years.

Hinga pointed out that a demand study done a while back indicated that Kenya needs more housing units more than ever so as to guarantee Kenyans a life of dignity and respect, adding that this programme is at the “heart of social justice”.

The Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) is a nationwide initiative which aims to provide decent, quality and affordable housing to our people throughout the 47 counties.

The main target is Kenyans in the low income brackets who have previously been excluded from owning decent homes due to the prohibitive costs.

In the last quarter of 2018, the government, through the State Department of Housing and Urban Development, released a Framework of Guidelines on the implementation of the affordable housing scheme in Kenya that outlines, among many others, the project’s financing, cost and design, quality and affordability as well as a clear road map for public and private-sector involvement.

By  Alice  Gworo

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