31 May 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s
administration has again inked a multibillion-shilling housing deal for the
construction of 100,000 homes for the poor.

The deal between the State
department for Housing, United Nations Office for Projects Service (Unops) and
Sustainable Housing Solutions (SHS) was signed during the ongoing UN Habitat
Assembly in Gigiri.

During the deal signing,
President Kenyatta said the project is a major boost to the Affordable Housing Programme
(AHP), which seeks to address the critical need for proper shelter across the

He noted that although the
ambitious project is both labour and capital-intensive, it is an economic
stimulus that will see a reduction in the high unemployment and poverty levels
in the country.

He added: “The provision of
clean, safe and sustainable housing will not only enable us to restore our
people’s dignity and secure their stake in their nation, but will also lead to
transformative, systemic changes to the country’s economic landscape.”

Unops Executive Director Grete
Faremo said the construction of the landmark large-scale affordable housing
project is set to begin in earnest, with show homes now in development in

“We are committed to
supporting the government in its sustainable development aimed at providing the
much-needed housing across the country. We will do everything we can to ensure
this project succeeds,” said Faremo.

The signing of the agreement
follows an MoU between the government and Unops in September 2018 in New York,
after the operational arm of the UN accepted an invitation to construct at
least 100,000 green and energy-efficient units in the country.

Dr Allan Zimbler, chairman of
SHS, said the partnership is another step in attempting to build a better world
by addressing the need for affordable and sustainable housing in Kenya.

As part of the agreement, the
Kenyan government will play a facilitative role by committing to provide bulk
off-site infrastructure including roads, water and sewer systems to the site.

It will also ensure the
availability of sufficient land on which Unops and SHS will put up affordable
houses in line with the Development Framework Guidelines, committing at the
same time to fast-track the statutory approval process and the requirements
stipulated by the partners.

Transport and Infrastructure
Housing Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the project is expected to create
3,000 jobs for local workers.

“We will work to ensure that the project, which will be done on private land and with private capital, is successfully delivered so that we can begin to change the landscape of upcoming municipalities and unlock their capacity for attracting investment that will ultimately improve our people’s living standards,” he said.

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