By Nicholas Nduati
The construction of at least 1,000 housing units within a year for those who wish to benefit from the reduced corporate tax of 20 percent is achievable if developers employ the use of industrial building systems and joint ventures.
Housing Principal Secretary Aidah Munano says developers can also embrace cost effective and faster building technologies such as Interlocking Concrete Blocks to attain this.
Stakeholders in the building and construction industry remain pessimistic on how possible it is for a single investor to put up 1,000 units in a year in order to benefit from the reduced corporate tax from 30 percent to 20 percent.
Munano says this is very much achievable with the ministry having already received a number of project proposals from investors who are willing to develop over 5,000 housing units and some up to a minimum of 20,000 units.
She says with the use of industrial building systems and joint ventures and taking into consideration that the demand for housing in this country is very high, developers should hit the target.
The PS says the use of cost effective and faster building technologies could help achieve this with the Ministry currently constructing 1,850 Police and Prison houses with a completion period of 4 months using such technologies.
These include among others Expended Polystyrene Panels, Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks, Interlocking Concrete Blocks, and Concrete Waffles for suspended floor slab and Fiber Cement roofing tiles. She notes that the waiving of levies payable to the National Construction Authority and NEMA will reduce the cost of construction and the resultant inconveniences.
To add up the numbers, Munano says the Housing Ministry will engage land owners including public institutions, County Governments and cooperative societies with large tracks of undeveloped land, as well as developers and financiers with a view to encouraging partnerships and joint ventures for enhanced delivery of affordable housing.
The Government has also drafted a Built Environment Bill that provides a legal and institutional framework to address the provision of housing.
This includes establishment of a one stop approval process under one agency, the building code, which has been reviewed under the Bill.