The government plans to weed out malpractices in the real estate sector through enforcement of stringent regulations. The aim is to speed up regeneration of cities, officials said on Wednesday, during the conference organized by the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya.

Infrastructure, housing and urban development CS James Macharia said that improved governance in the land and property markets is key to achieving one of the government’s Big Four Agenda items, affordable housing for all alongside urban renewal.

“The property market in this country has experienced rapid growth, hence the need to tighten regulations in the wake of ethical breaches that have led to collapse of buildings and encroachment into riparian land,” said Macharia.

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He was addressing a first of the two-day Institute of Surveyors of Kenya regional conference that has been organized around the theme; “Land and Property Sector: Delivering on Sustainable Development and the Big Four Agenda”.

Mr. Macharia said that a robust regulatory framework is required to ensure developers maintain ethical standards during construction of buildings. This follows the numerous incidences of building collapses that have rocked the country in the recent past with thousands of structures set to be demolished across the country.

The CS said that both the national and county governments are harmonizing laws to ensure growth of the real estate sector will not be detrimental to the environment, human safety and health.

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“A regulated property market will attract investments required to help us bridge a housing gap in the country. We must therefore act on rogue developers responsible for polluting the urban environment,” Macharia said.

Abraham Samoei, chairman of Institute of Surveyors of Kenya, said that adherence to regulations will halt construction of structurally weak buildings that are a threat to public safety.

The conference brings together professionals from different disciplines in the lands sector in addition to key industry players, interested parties and government. These include senior policymakers, investors, engineers, planners, land administration experts and valuers.