Affordable housing plan takes shape as President unveils first phase

President William Ruto during the tour of the Pier Fish Market in Homa Bay Town, Homa Bay County. [PCS]

As President William Ruto's term in office enters its sixth month, he seems to have prioritised affordable housing and targets to deliver 500,000 houses during his first term in office.

On Friday, he unveiled the first phase of the 5,000 affordable housing programme for Homa Bay County during his two-day working tour of Nyanza region, covering Kisumu, Homa Bay and Siaya counties.

This was the fifth time the President is launching a housing project since he was sworn in after he unveiled 22,490 units including 13,076 in Mukuru Met Site Housing, 4,054 in Kibera Soweto B in Nairobi and 5,360 Mavoko affordable housing project.

Ruto's plan is to create four million jobs through the Affordable Housing programme (AHP). According to the president, eight people are involved in the construction of a single unit.

During campaigns, Ruto claimed that politics took centre stage during the second term of his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta thus frustrating the Big Four Agenda of Universal health programme, food production, manufacturing and affordable housing.

In his first visit to Homa Bay in October last year, President Ruto promised he would be back to launch the project.

In November last year, the government handed over 11-acre land to a contractor to build affordable houses in Homa Bay town and the National Housing Corporation (NHC) signed an agreement with the county government to undertake the work.

The Homa Bay AHP will use clean energy by tapping solar power and harvesting rainwater that will be stored underground.

According to the State House, 39 counties have identified land on which affordable houses will be constructed. 

The programme has 9,935 existing and ongoing housing projects that include 1,562 Pangani in Nairobi, 605 Bondeni project Nakuru, 1,850 Buxton Point Mombasa, 1,800 Bachelors Jevanjee Estate in Nairobi and 4,118 Moke Gardens in Machakos.

In October last year, the President said affordable housing cannot be achieved by the government alone, noting that his administration will ensure private developers partner with the state.