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Helios partners with Acorn to build Sh7bn hostels in Nairobi

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Kenyan property  firm Acorn Group and London-based private equity fund Helios have signed a Sh7.4 billion deal to construct 3,800 hostels in Nairobi aimed at tackling students housing problem in the country.

The project will partly be funded by The world Bank private lending arm-International Finance Corporation(IFC).

IFC which plans to finance the construction of the hostels in Nairobi to a tune of Sh4 billion says the project is a step forward in reducing a deficit in students housing.

“The student and young professionals housing will be a big step towards reducing the deficit in affordable accommodation for those in tertiary institutions and those newly out of college but cannot afford to buy properties of their own,” IFC says.

Read More:African cities face major housing challenge-report

The first bunch of hostels in Nairobi will be built near Strathmore University, United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa) and Daystar University.

The rapid expansion of both public and private universities in Kenya has created acute demand for student accommodation and this has led to private developers stepping in either independently or through partnerships with tertiary institutions to try and offer solution.

Shortage of hostels in Nairobi

In 2015, Kenyatta University for instance signed an agreement with an American company to construct 10,000 capacity students hostels under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The project estimated to cost Sh5 billion will see construction of the hostels to accommodate 9,350 undergraduates and 650 postgraduates at the university’s main campus.

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