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Govt role in affordable housing is indispensable, Lands CS tells WB

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Lands Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru has said that Governments and policymakers have an indispensable role in making affordable housing a reality.

The CS said Governments have the crucial role of formulating policies to guiding affordable housing programmes by creating an enabling environment for investors and creating a sustainable funding mechanism.

Mr Njeru was speaking Wednesday morning during the 9th Global Affordable Housing Conference in Washington DC, which was organized by the World Bank. He was one of the keynote speakers at the event

The Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development CS said sound policies are necessary to bring down the cost of building. He said policy makers can make housing programmes successful by crafting policies that promote use of emerging technologies, build capacities and enhancing public awareness about the benefits of new innovations.

“If we embrace Industrial Building Technologies correctly, we will certainly be effective in cutting costs for large scale construction projects, potentially enabling more affordable housing projects to be initiated,” said the CS.

The Cabinet Secretary said the majority of citizens of countries including Kenya have traditionally been locked out of home ownership.

He said some of the challenges that have stifled access to housing include lengthy mortgage processes, difficulties with property registration, lack of standardized mortgage underwriting processes and lack of affordable end-user financing among others.

The CS reiterated that Governments have the duty to find innovative solutions around practical housing finance and use of technologies. He said one of the ways governments including Kenya are making housing affordable is by availing the land for constructing the houses.

The CS said that affordable housing is an initiative where Governments, international organizations, private developers and financiers have united to make a difference to bridge the gap and fulfill Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He called on other stakeholders to support the noble initiative of creating an avenue for the majority to access ways to own homes.

Earlier in the week, CS Njeru, who is accompanied by Housing Secretary Mr Said Athman, visited New Jersey where he was the chief guest in an Expo targeting Kenyans in the diaspora to invest in the affordable housing programmes in Kenya.

He encouraged Kenyans living in the United States to use the Boma Yangu platform to invest in the massive construction opportunities in Kenya as the Government builds 200,000 Affordable Housing Units annually for next five years.

On Monday, the CS took part in a roundtable discussion where he explained how Kenyans living outside the country can use the Ardhisasa platform to manage their properties at home.

 

kra