Regent to manage Pangani low-cost housing project

Pangani housing project on course [File, Standard]

The 17-storey Pangani housing block, with a façade of baked clay, towers above neighbouring buildings.

Here, 1,562 units are set to be ready by the end of 2022 as part of the government’s Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) launched in 2017.

Regent Management, a subsidiary of investment company Sovereign Group, will then move in with the role of facility management.

The Pangani project will have 128 one-bedroom houses, 248 two-bedroom houses and 576 three-bedroom units under AHP.

An additional 610 three-bedroom duplexes will sell at the market rate to help offset the subsidisation of the other 952.

“There is such a big need for affordable housing in the city,” says Regent director Noah Kulei. “If people can get value for money, then they pay and settle in.”

At least 967 people have already paid deposits for the houses, with 653 having signed sale agreements and gone on to remit installments, maybe drawn by the high quality of the construction and finishing.

The houses have vinyl flooring, granite on kitchen sinks and wood plastic composite material for doors, to name a few of the features.

After paying the 40 per cent deposit, the buyers will pay the rest of the money in monthly or quarterly installments over three years.

The one-bedroom house goes for Sh1 million, two-bedroom for Sh2.5 million and the three-bedroom unit costs Sh3 million. All of these are sold out.

The three-bedroom duplexes that used to be sold at Sh7.5 million, now go for Sh10 million due to high demand. Compared to neighbouring properties, the units are significantly underpriced.

Out of the 610 duplexes, 200 units have been sold out.

“By August, we will have four blocks completed. In the end, we will have eight identical blocks, with a courtyard in the middle, where we will have children’s playing facilities alongside other recreational facilities,” says Alvin Muchai of Mace YMR, a project manager at the site.

The housing project sits on 5.2 acres.

Kulei says well-constructed houses is the future, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has converted homes into offices.

“People with a basic salary of Sh150,000 and below are eligible for booking, with only one person allowed per unit,” he says.

Muchai says the construction works is proceeding well and is within set timelines.

Aluminium formwork, which gives smooth finishes and high-quality end product, is preferred to timber.

About 200 people are employed on site every day.

Regent Management carried out the project’s feasibility study. They are now here as sales agents, and will remain as facility managers.  

“The houses are in an optimal location and create good conditions for people to live near the Central Business District,” says Kulei.

“We have seen people moving out of the city and into secondary towns as they seek comfort. But we can now have people live in serene homes right here.”

The rooftop offers a panoramic view of the city, a 360-degree view of the east, west and north of Nairobi CBD.

“We have seen an uptake of these houses from everybody — there are even expatriates who have shown interest. We have Kenyans in the diaspora contacting us,” says Kulei.

“And everyone, as long as they are in the salary brackets that qualifies them for booking, have been approaching us. They are from different social statuses and demographics.” 

Despite the grim statistics given on the economy amid the pandemic, the property here has remained bullish, with people booking and paying for the housing units.

By the end of 2022, all eight blocks will be ticked off the contractor’s to-do list.  

Regent will then start managing the facility, and the journey towards affordable housing will get a significant boost.

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