Mass housing project in Kenya gains pace

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Mass housing project in Kenya gains pace
Sample mass housing project.

Winners of Kenya’s first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mass housing project in Kenya will be announced soon, the country’s Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development ministry has said.
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After a successful pilot, a mass housing production model will be established to replicate it countrywide, said Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

Kenya issued an expression of interest for the construction of 8,200 housing units on a 55-acre government land in Mavoko sub-county, Machakos. 60 local and foreign contractors are racing to secure the job that seeks to address Kenya’s housing problem especially in urban areas.

Preference will be given to companies with a proven record of implementing mass housing projects in Kenya and abroad within the shortest time possible under the Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) model will be considered.

Under this model, a firm funds development of a project to be paid upon completion once the government is satisfied with the final product.

This particular requirement is likely to favour huge foreign firms that have the financial muscle to undertake such a project as opposed to local firms that are mostly family owned.

Government data shows that Kenya is currently experiencing a deficit of 1.85 million housing units mainly in urban centers meaning that a large number of residents live in informal settlements.

Read:African cities face major housing challenge-report

The capital Nairobi is one of Africa’s most expensive cities for housing, with 2013 prices almost triple those of 2000.

A report from the World Bank predicts that most Kenyans will live in cities by 2033. Practically, Kenya needs to produce 244,000 homes a year to meet demand however less than a quarter of this number are being constructed.

Ultimately, Kenya plans to build 500,000 housing units by 2022—mostly within peri-urban and urban centres priced at Sh3 million and below.

The country bets on modern technologies that make houses affordable without compromising quality to achieve its goal.

The Mass housing project in Kenya also entails construction of multi-storey houses that can accommodate several people at ago, a phenomenon normally seen in Iran, UAE, and Europe.

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