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Construction of Sh20b housing project kicks off in Athi River

BUSINESS
By Wainaina Wambu | December 6th 2021
By Wainaina Wambu | December 6th 2021
BUSINESS

Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia unveils plaque as Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga (left), NHC Board Chair Stephen Ngare (second left) and officials look on. [Courtesy]

The National Housing Corporation (NHC) has launched a Sh20 billion housing project in Athi River, Machakos County that will see locals given a priority.

The project dubbed Stoni Athi Waterfront City will be developed on a 150-acre piece of land with 10,500 housing units.

About 5,000 units will be under the State's affordable housing plan and will cost between Sh1 million and Sh3 million.

Another 5,500 targeting the middle and upper-income households will be sold at between Sh2 million and Sh8 million.

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Transport and Housing Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the residents of Mavoko municipality will be the first beneficiaries of the housing project.

Additionally, the area will also have business zones that will house malls, supermarkets and other stores.

It will also have social amenities including hospitals, schools, boat riding, playing grounds and parks for the residents.

CS Macharia urged more private investors to engage in housing projects “to support one of the pillars of the Big Four agenda. “The project makes a huge contribution towards achieving the NHC mandate of housing the nation,” he said.

He noted that the NHC will also be constructing 5,000 housing units in the Konza Techno City. “NHC can enhance the use of innovative structures such as joint ventures and other collaborative enhancements to unlock the housing challenges facing the country,” he said.

"It can provide vehicles through which county governments can facilitate the development of affordable homes."

Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga expressed concern over the high demand for housing in urban centres. “Of the supply of 50,000 units, 49,000 units are for the upper-middle and high-end market while only 1,000 units are available to the lower segment of the housing market,” he said.

Prof Hinga challenged the youth to substitute their desire to buy cars with the need to own houses, noting that affordable houses cost the same price that of vehicles in the market

He said rooted for the many financing plans to enable the youth to own homes, including the Kenya Mortgages Refinancing Company which aims to provide a single-digit interest rate which is fixed and a long-term mortgage.

Mavoko MP Patrick Makau sought a stricter urban planning framework to streamline the booming construction sector.

NHC Board Chairman Stephen Ngare said they would be using the expanded polystyrene (EPS) which is easy to apply and cost-effective.

“The cost savings drawn from the use of the EPS are passed on to the eventual house owner. The corporation is able to effectively supply the EPS from its manufacturing plant located here in Mavoko,” he said.

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