First affordable housing flagship project units ready

Daniel Ojijo(Left) Managing Director and Founder of Homes Universal Limited with CAS Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development Dr. Christopher Obure (in blue suit) at the official opening ceremony for the 29th Kenya Homes Expo at the KICC. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]
Two hundred and twenty-eight units at the Park Road affordable housing project are ready.

Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the houses will be issued to “deserving and qualified Kenyans before end of the year.”

This was in a speech read on his behalf by the CAS in the ministry Chris Obure at the opening of the Kenya Homes Expo last week.

The CS said they have identified several sites for slum upgrading and improvement of informal settlements, which include Kibera, Marigu-ini and Kiambiu.

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This in addition to setting aside public land for flagship affordable housing projects in Nairobi which include Park Road, Starehe, Shauri Moyo and Mavoko.

“We are encouraging Kenyans of all walks to register themselves at Boma Yangu portal and make voluntary contributions for this and upcoming projects,” he said.

He said the purchase model will include outright sales, tenant purchase, subsidised mortgage, sale to members of co-operatives and employer-employee facilitated housing, among others.

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The Kenya Homes Expo’s 29th edition was held over the weekend at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre with more than 130 exhibitors.

Daniel Ojijo, the founder and Executive Chairman of Homes Universal said the expo, now touted as the largest in East and Central Africa, has become a point of synergy for the real estate market.

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“Judging from the kind of visitors we get in every edition, close to 40,000 visitors, it shows that the expo has lived to its expectations,” he said.

Ojijo said the original aim of the exhibition was to create an avenue where players in the industry could network, showcase their products and get feedback from customers, but it has since grown beyond this.

“Initially we thought that an exhibition should just be an avenue for imparting information and brand awareness and you know promotions, but the public literally comes to buy. They’re coming to buy houses.  They’re coming to buy sofa sets. They’re coming to buy home appliances,” he said.

He said exhibitors would only keep coming if they see there’s relevance and return on investment.

At the same time, Ojijo said the times have been difficult for the real estate industry.

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“Just like any, any sector, growth depends highly on the economy performance. If the economy is not performing. if their jobs are not being created, if there are mass layoffs, of course, that means that people don’t have money, and you realise that people have to first of all, fulfill their basic needs,” he said.  

He said there was a need for leaders to rally the public in terms of creating wealth.

“We need to have investors coming up with local product that can also compete internationally,” said adding that it was good for the first time local manufacturers of granite at the expo, something the industry has been importing for a long time.

“You’re seeing manufacturers of good quality furniture that can compete in the international market also being showcased here.

“For the economy to grow, which is a bigger factor in real estate growth, the public needs to do it’s bit, the government also needs to do its bit in terms of rallying people for production,” he said.  

SEE ALSO :Exhibitors to market projects, grow networks at homes expo

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