The World Bank is committed to supporting county governments in Kenya to work with the private sector to offer affordable housing in Kenyan Counties.
Speaking at a Nairobi hotel recently, Oumar Seydi , the World Bank regional director in charge of East and Southern Africa said tackling problem in housing in Kenyan counties, particularly for people who earn low income, will not only require capital from donors such as the World Bank, but most importantly partnerships between public and the private sectors.
The World Bank regional boss said that for governments experiencing financial challenges such as Kenya, Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) are the right option for both parties to complement each other in the development of infrastructure.
He said that in Kenya, high cost of land is shying away investors even as most of the land is in county governments’ hands. “Let’s us come up with a solution where public land that is controlled by county governments, can be made available for housing development by the private sector. The World Bank will support both parties in this endeavour,” explained Seydi.
Esther Koimett, the Treasury Investment Secretary who was representing Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge at the event said the Government was committed to coming up with policies and solutions to lower housing budgets. She said the government is encouraging PPP so as to offer decent housing especially for low income earners.
She said that the government is currently in talks with African Development Bank and Shelter Afrique to build 20,000 units for the disciplined forces starting this November
Ms Koimett, however, stressed that housing was not the only hurdle facing the Government.
She noted other challenges such as offering water and health were critical but the state’s coffers cannot fulfill them at once. She also acknowledged that the country’s debt is high and cannot be heavily relied on. She called on more private sector involvement in housing development.