The government has identified over 7, 000 acres of land, where one million housing units will be constructed at a cost of Kshs 2.6 trillion.
Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban development Cabinet Secretary (CS), James Macharia said that land accounts for about 30 percent of the building cost, adding that, the government’s move will considerably cut the cost of the housing project.
“We have identified over 7, 000 acres, dotted across the country, with Nairobi having the biggest chunk, though we have the other major towns like Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and even the other counties,” he explained.
“We are targeting all the 47 counties to meet the national shortfall of 1.6 million houses and the project will have the greatest impact around 17 counties, but this one will be felt across the whole country,” said Macharia.
The CS who was speaking during the launch of the Kenya Building Research Centre, said that the housing project which is among the big four, will impact the other agenda items, citing manufacturing, which will create job opportunities for the youth.
“The initial estimate is that we shall be creating 750, 000 jobs, leave alone the spillover effect that will come along,” said Macharia.
“Already we have companies like China Wu-Yi, who have established a company in Athi River to produce building materials of the highest standard,” he added.
The CS said that the housing project will also impact on the health of Kenyans, as they will live in better and hygienic houses hence, reducing the exposure to disease and infections.
He explained that interest in the project is massive, because after they sent out expression of interest, already more than 70 companies have expressed positive response.
The Principal Secretary in charge of Housing and Urban Development, Charles Hinga said that the housing requirement per year is 200,000 units, and the government was yet to meet the demand.
He added that out of the one million houses, 200,000 will be done under the slum upgrading program.
“We are going to have a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, which will include a land swap, where a private developer identifies prime land owned by the government somewhere in Nairobi and instead of paying the government for that land, they are given a certain slum to upgrade,” he explained.