The Star (Nairobi)

7 November 2012

Kenya: Housing Union Builds Low-Cost Family Homes

The National Co-operative Housing Union has handed over homes to 52 families in a scheme dubbed Green Fields Housing in Ruiru.

The 52 low-cost housing units were built for members of the Faith Foundation which is composed of a group of people displaced in the 1992 and 2007 post-poll violence.

The members have been making savings since 2010, after which they joined Nachu with the intention of owning homes. The co-operative helped them acquire land in Murera village in Ruiru where the houses have been built, for which the members will continue paying gradually to fully own the homes eventually.

Nachu chief executive Mary Mathenge said the 52 units sit on two acres and the co-operative intends to build 100 more units in 2013 on an adjacent piece of land.

"We were touched by the group's resilience to both survival and commitment to actualise their dreams of owning a home," she said. Mathenge said the feat achieved by the small group is testimony to the effectiveness the housing co-operative model in providing affordable housing.

Kenya currently has an estimated annual demand over 200,000 units of decent housing, with new-build released into the market every year totalling less that 30,000 units.

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