12 December 2018

Kenya: Government Set to Launch Affordable Housing Project Next Week

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta says he will launch the first affordable housing project in a week's time.

Speaking during the 55th Jamhuri Day Celebrations held at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday, President Kenyatta said the move is aimed at delivering about 500, 000 affordable homes by 2022.

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The move comes after the National Assembly approved the establishment of the Kenya Housing Development Fund.

He said the fund is the anchor of the Public Private Partnerships led housing model.

"The fund will be the primary off taker of approved building developments designed and implemented under the program," President Kenyatta said of the housing project that is part of his Big 4 Agenda.

He said a Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company has been established whose mandate is to work with the banking sector and the cooperative movement through Saccos to make available affordable mortgage finance for those wishing to own a home.

The mortgage finance company will also extend the tenure of housing loans from the current average of seven years to at least 20 years and assist in driving interest rates on mortgages to single digits.

"In the last twelve months we have laid an appropriate legal and policy foundation that provides the platform to transform our housing sector for the better," he added.

In September, the government signed a deal with the United Nations Office for Project Services to deliver 100,000 affordable housing units.

The signing of the deal took place on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The affordable housing agreement between Kenya and UNOPS is part of the UN agency's Social Impact Investment Initiative (S3i), a programme that underlines UN's commitment to fostering innovative financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Once fully implemented, the agreement will boost Kenya's efforts towards the realization of the ambitious affordable housing agenda as outlined in the Government's Big 4 development blueprint by injecting 100,000 units into the market.

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