Government to build 8,000 houses in a 55-acre piece of land in Mavoko

National Housing Corporation Nairobi West Houses. PHOTO: WILBERFORCE OKWIRI

NAIROBI, KENYA: The government has announced plans to build 8,000 houses in a 55-acre piece of land in Mavoko.

While announcing the plan, which will kick off next month, Transport and Housing Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the development will be a boost to the government’s plan - in partnership with the private sector - to building 1 million houses within the next five years.

This will be achieved with a target of churning out more than 200,000 units every year targeting the middle class.

 “Apart from the piece of land in Mavoko, we are considering other locations where the government owns land so that we can build there too,” Macharia said last week.

The ministry is also planning to set up 10,000 units in informal settlements as part of its social housing mission.

Macharia said the project will be executed by the national government through the National treasury and private sector players.

“The social housing project will be executed within the slums. This is mainly because there is a vast majority of slum dwellers who want to remain within those locations.

6,000 NHC houses

We are also considering the issue of lack of land. With proper utilisation of technology, this is will be possible.”

The National Housing Corporation will also be part of the plan since they are set to build 6,000 houses targeting eight counties in the next three years.

During the announcement, NHC chairman Francis Gitau Mungai said they would construct housing estates with a combined 5,000 houses in Eldoret (Uasin Gishu County), Stoni Athi (Machakos) and Changamwe (Mombasa) and another 1,000 units in Voi (Taita Taveta), Kericho, Kisumu, Meru and Nyeri counties. “We are cognisant of the fact that majority of Kenyans are yearning to access decent and affordable housing,” Mungai said, with estimates showing Kenya has a shortage of close to 2 million houses.

NHC’s chair, however, said that despite of the fact that the ambitious plan would be a major boost to the housing sector, it is not going to be devoid of challenges.

These challenges include issues related to land availability and utilisation of new technology.

“There’s also a need to have supporting infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water. Regardless of how good the houses we put up can be, things such as good roads are extremely important,” the Housing CS said.

The two were speaking during the handing of a Sh23.7 million cheque by the National Housing Corporation to the National Treasury from its 2015/2016 fiscal year where it made Sh339.9 million in its pre-tax profit.