Report: Little to show in government housing projects

With the clock ticking to 2022, the government has little to show in the way of completed social and affordable housing units.

According to a report released this month by The National Treasury, the government completed 228 out of the 1,370 units earmarked for Park Road, Nairobi during the 2018-19 Financial Year.

During the same period, 462 out of 7,587 social housing units were completed while 180 units to house both the police and prison officers were ready. The two departments are among those with a severe shortage of housing with some officers having to share the same unit.

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The energy, infrastructure and ICT sector is a key driver of Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.

Between 2016 and 2019, this sector was allocated a total of Sh1.18 trillion for both recurrent and development expenditure. However, the delays in implementing the president’s projects cast a dark shadow on the government’s ability to absorb the allocated funds.

The housing sub sector, a key component of the Big Four Agenda, aims to construct 500,000 affordable houses by 2022.

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“The slow implementation of capital projects occasioned by local contractors’ inadequate capacity has gradually culminated to project delays, cost overruns and possible legal and contract challenges arising from arbitration and contractual issues,” states the report.

To accelerate the projects, the report recommends that the government sstablishes a pool of equipment to be hired by contractors and the acquisition of testing equipment for effective structural integrity of buildings.

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In addition, it recommended the operationalization of the National Construction Institute which should act as a training centre for those in the construction industry.

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National TreasuryCS Yattani