Kenya: County, State sign deal to build low-cost houses

14 May 2018

Homa Bay County government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the national government to construct 2,000 affordable houses in the devolved unit.

Governor Cyprian Awiti and Housing Principal Secretary Charles Mwaura signed the deal recently. Speaking after signing the agreement,

Mwaura said the project seeks to enable low income earners to occupy and own high quality houses.

“Construction of these houses will begin after 180 days from today. I am telling Homa Bay residents to ask me if they fail to see any work going after the duration because this is a serious deal.”

Homa Bay will be the first county where the programme will be undertaken.

Awiti said the project also aimed at creating 10,000 job opportunities for residents.

“Construction of the houses is our endeavour to eradicate poverty because each house will create five job opportunities for the locals,” he said.

And as Kisumu city moves towards a 24-hour economy, land-use change is phasing out the former town plan, which designated areas close to the busy central business district as peri-urban hinterland.

Kisumu Real Estates (KRE), which entered the western Kenya market in 2006, was among the first to take advantage of the city’s expansion to build residential houses.

Other residential projects away from the city centre are Milimani West in Kisian and Equator Gardens in Maseno Township, both of which are under the KRE.

According to a 2016 report by Cytonn Real Estate on Kisumu City dubbed ‘Cytonn Retail and Mortgage Affordability Index’, the residential real estate sector in the county presents investors with a total per annum return of 13.3%, an income yield of 4.8% and annual capital appreciation of 8.5%.

The report, which highlights the most affordable location for a household to purchase a home given one’s income level, says the residential sector in Kisumu is developing, with most of the mega developments being less than five years old.

This growth is driven by government decentralisation, urbanisation and growth of the middle class.

Some of the challenges facing real estate sector in Kisumu and Homa Bay counties are poor planning, limited space for expansion and steep gradients.

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