300,000 additional affordable housing units are set to be constructed in Kenya under the program of Big Four agenda led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia confirmed the report and said that China and Qatar have signed an agreement to foresee the development of the units.
Two Qatari firms will construct 200,000 houses while Chinese multinational firm will construct remaining 100,000 houses. Mr Macharia also said that the government has already approached the investors for funding, keeping in mind that the Big Four agenda which aims to construct 500,000 affordable houses.
Under the Big four agenda, the hosing units will be divided into specific types. The types include; a social housing costing a maximum of US $6000, a bedsitter housing costing a maximum of US $8000, a two bedroom for US $10,000, and a three-bedroom would be costing around US $20,000.
Reducing the growing shortage of affordable houses in Kenya
The world is urbanizing at a very high rate and Kenya is no exception. Over 26% of Kenyans live in cities and the urban population is growing at a rate of 4.2 % every year.
This level of growth creates tremendous pressure on the housing market. For example, Nairobi requires at least 132,000 new housing units annually to keep pace with its expanding population. Yet only 50,000 homes are built, creating a growing housing deficit of 82,000 units per year.
This situation has contributed to the development of large informal markets. It is said that, 61% of urban households in Kenya live in undignified settlements of which 70-80% in rental units.
To address this issue, the government of Kenya has made affordable housing a presidential priority and is committed to facilitate the construction of the houses between 2017 and 2022.
Cabinet Secretary also held a talk with Qatari Prime minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Transport and Communication Minister, Qatar to improve the cooperation between the two countries. He emphasized the fact that Kenya will continue to work with China together with neighboring countries to have a seamless experience in the construction and securing resources to have the most positive impact in the lives of Kenyan people.