15 October 2018

Kenya: Sonko Promises 200,000 Low-Cost Houses for Nairobi

Nairobi — Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has promised to deliver construction of 200,000 housing units in the capital city.

Sonko said the plan is part of his administration's input towards President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda.

He announced that the Nairobi County Government has already embarked on Phase I of its urban regeneration programme that targets between 10,000 and 12,000 housing units.

Speaking on Monday during the second Urban Dialogue on delivering affordable housing at a Nairobi hotel, the governor hailed the national government's plan to construct half a million housing units in the country.

He said his administration will create a conducive environment to accommodate half of the units planned by government in Nairobi.

The Urban Dialogue conference was organised by the World Bank.

"We have already called for expressions of interest for Phase Two, and other phases will follow immediately thereafter. In total, we plan to deliver about 200,000 units as Nairobi County Government," said Sonko.

Sonko said the houses that will be constructed will be sold between Sh1-3 million per unit.

"We are negotiating a 70:30 ratio with developers, where every project must have at least 70 per cent houses under Sh3 million. The developers can then build more expensive units on 30 percent of the project," said Sonko.

Sonko however stated that his administration is facing challenges in the construction of the houses.

He said a number of parcels of land earmarked for the housing project are on flight path of the Moi Air Base and Wilson Airport, leading to some of the housing projects being reduced from 30 to 14-storey building.

"I am appealing to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to call a meeting with the Nairobi City County Government, the Department of Defence and Ministry of Transport to clearly map out the flight paths. This will allow us to build taller buildings in areas outside this path. We have already engaged DoD on this and they are positive in finding a workable solution," added Sonko.

Meanwhile, Sonko also indicated that his government has embarked on a masterplan that will see upgrading of several slums in the city.

Among the informal settlements earmarked for upgrading include the larger Mukuru slums and Mji wa Huruma slums.

"Mukuru has already been declared a Special Planning Area, which will allow the county government to provide much need infrastructure for the residents. We also plan to construct modern housing at the Mji wa Huruma slum," he said.

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