The Star (Nairobi)

6 February 2013

Kenya: Housing Finance Gets Sh1.7 Billion for 'Green Houses'

MORTGAGE lender Housing Finance has received a Sh1.7 billion from the International Finance Corporations to finance and pioneer the construction for environmentally friendly houses in Kenya.

The loans will be disbursed at much lower interest rates compared to the current HF mortgage charges but developers must put up houses that are energy and water efficient. For instance, such houses must be be installed with solar-powered water heating systems and the lighting system must also be energy-saving.

The so called green houses also have rain-water harvesting systems, low-flow shower heads and dual flush tanks for water closets to reduce water consumption by more than 20 per cent. They are designed to reduce direct sunlight into the home reducing the need for indoor air conditioning hot areas.

"HF now encourages property developers to fully embrace energy and water efficient within the design, planning and construction of housing development in Kenya," said HF managing director Frank Ireri yesterday.

HF estimates that the green houses are 20 per cent more expensive than the normal houses that one end up saving in energy and water costs in the long run. The lender has yet to fix the interest rates for the new loans.

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