UN agency, UNOPS, partners, launch 8,000 affordable housing project in Kenya
London, Dec. 9, 2019 (AltAfrica)-President Uhuru Kenyatta has inaugurated the Habitat Heights, one of the projects of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and their partners that will see the delivery of 8,888 affordable housing units to Kenyans when completed
The Habitat Heights housing project in Mavoko ,Machakos County is part of Kenya’s broader national affordable housing programme, which aims to build 500,000 homes.
The partnership addresses the lack of access to affordable and accessible financing for ordinary Kenyans who want to own an affordable home.
Alternativeafrica.com understands that to date, 270,000 Kenyans have expressed desire to be considered as beneficiaries of the Affordable Housing Programme
“This project, part of UNOPS Social Impact Investing Initiative (S3i), will lay the foundations for a more affordable and sustainable housing market in Kenya. The construction phase of the first homes is a significant step forward for the initiative,” said UNOPS Deputy Executive Director, Vitaly Vanshelboim
Speaking at the launch of the mega project in Mavoko, Machakos County, on Friday, President Kenyatta said the project which will inject an estimated 5 billion dollars into the economy is an affirmation that Kenya is a worthwhile, secure and facilitative destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“This is a happy moment for me. I say so because for the past one and a half years, we have been working diligently to formulate an implementation plan to usher Kenya into an era of affordable and decent housing and, indeed, I see the light at the end of the tunnel,” President Kenyatta said.
The mega housing project is the first of many similar initiatives lined up by UNOPS and their partners to be implemented in the country leading to the delivery of 100,000 affordable housing units.
President Kenyatta pointed out that development of the 100,000 housing units follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) he signed with UNOPS last year in New York.
“To bring this MOU to effect, I have just witnessed the signing of a development agreement which will see us produce another 100,000 units beyond the first 8,888 units that are here at Habitat Heights,” the President said.
The President also unveiled the country’s roadmap for the development of a further 200,000 units through joint efforts between the government and its strategic partners.
He urged those implementing the housing projects to ensure that locals benefit in terms of jobs and business opportunities.
“The national endeavour under the affordable housing programme will not only provide Kenyans with decent housing but it will also provide them with opportunities to integrate into the Manufacturing Pillar of the Big Four Agenda.
“It is a requirement in our planning that, as far as possible, the inputs of affordable housing projects be sourced locally and especially from Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs),” the President emphasized.
The Head of State highlighted a series of measures that his administration has implemented over the last 18 months to address some of the systemic issues that have made housing unavailable and unaffordable in the urban and peri-urban areas.
The measures include the decision to make national and county government land available for grand housing and bulk infrastructure projects.
“We realized that the affordability of homes was affected by high costs of land and horizontal infrastructure, which can add up to 60% to the cost of development,” the President said.