Kenya needs Sh5 trillion for affordable housing, Shelter Afrique says

Shelter Afrique CEO Andrew Chimphondah.
Kenya needs in excess of $50 billion (Sh5.1 trillion) to adequately adress the issue of affordable housing, Pan African housing development financier Shelter Afrique has said.

Kenya is among African countries with a growing affordable housing deficit across the continent in excess of two million units. Nigeria’s deficit is a staggering 22 million units.

“This requires focused political leadership and we are encouraged by the efforts the Government of Kenya through the inclusion of Affordable Housing as a key priority in implementing the BIG 4 Agenda on the supply side, and the establishment of the Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company to improve access to mortgage lending on the demand side,” said Shelter Afrique CEO Andrew Chimphondah.

He said Africa needs more than $1.4 trillion (Sh144 trillion) in funding to effectively address the growing housing crisis. This is at an average construction cost of $25,000 (Sh2.5 million) per unit, excluding the cost of bulk infrastructure.

Chimphondah was speaking in Nairobi after the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Habitat for Humanity International to mobilise capital for affordable housing.

“Research from our Centre of Excellence shows that the overall shortage of housing in Africa is estimated now to be 56 million housing units. Out of this, more than 90 per cent (or 45 million units) are in the affordable housing bracket,” he said.

Chimphondah said a majority of African countries are already facing a housing crisis as a result of high population growth, increased urbanisation, poor urban planning, dysfunctional land markets, rising construction costs, proliferation of informal settlements and underdeveloped financial systems.

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Other countries with growing deficits include Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo with a deficit of three million units; and South Africa and Madagascar with deficits of more than two million.

“If we do not intervene, we are going to see the surge in slums and substandard dwellings across Africa,” said Chimphondah, adding that Africa will require even more financial resources as countries continue to record rapid population growth and higher rates of urbanisation. 

“The solution lies in a well-coordinated and collaborative effort among all stakeholders, including governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organisations and the private sector...,” he said.  

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