High-rise is the way to go; but in them, could there be more than meets the eye?
SEE ALSO :Recipe for success of housing dreamFor instance, he says, if the cost of an acre of land in Nairobi’s Eastland’s area is Sh300 million then you do bungalows, you will only manage about eight units. This means every household will pay something like Sh50 million for the house. “Is this affordable?” he poses. “It is cheaper to do high-rise buildings because for the one-acre plot, you can do up to 300 units. This means every household will only pay a million spread across a period of time for the house. This is now affordable,” Opiyo says. Opiyo says, the government needs to do cross-subsidy model to avoid future impediments. “In the high-rise buildings, we can bring in both the lower and upper middle-class together. Then the rich can subsidise the poor to support services like lift maintenance, water and garbage collection services,” Opiyo says. Eco-Build’s Africa Prof. Alfred Omenya, however, says that building highrise buildings is not enough since more is into them than many can imagine. This is because, slum upgrading focus for instance, which is part of the on-going housing agenda by the national government and County government is beyond giving people houses and leaving them to pay for them. He says, for the high-rise buildings, service costs for garbage, power for lifts; standby generators, lifts maintenance, water and sewer system need to be addressed since this will be necessary when people own these houses. “Servicing these houses after hand-over will be necessary. At what cost will it be?” Omenya asks.
SEE ALSO :Bathroom storage ideasIn the housing agenda plan, houses will be selling for Sh600,000 for one bedroom and Sh900,000 for the two bedrooms and reserved for people earning below Sh15,000. This will also capture people in slums paying rent of Sh3,849 and 5,698 who some will qualify for mortgages that they will repay at Sh2,651 and 4,268 for 25 years. But in this model, the service charges after people own a house is missing. “To maintain water supply up to like the 12th floor, garbage collection among other service can averagely go up to Sh15,000 in the current market rate. Will these people you are housing afford this in a month on top of the cost of servicing their loans gauging by what they earn in day?” Omenya poses. However, he says, all what needs to be done is factoring in the services and management. Also, the government should consider rentals and rent to own models as core mechanisms for access to social housing. “Turn current home owners into social entrepreneurs and landlords, remove obstacles for them and reduce costs for current home developers,” Omenya says. [email protected]
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