The government has formed the Programme Implementation Unit (PIU), a committee under the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Urban development, tasked with spearheading and fast tracking the process of acquisition of mandatory project approvals, land, planning, infrastructure and water among others for the project.
The multi-agency committee, is supposed to help the government achieve it’s 500,000 affordable housing units target.
Speaking during a staff sensitization workshop at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, the PS said “For the government to meet the target of delivering the 500,000 affordable and social houses within the stipulated time, adequate financing is required which calls for the concerted efforts from all actors in the sector to collaborate in the provision of housing in order to meet the shortfall of 1.85 million units in the country.”
The PS said that more than 74 per cent of salaried Kenyans earn less than Ksh. 50,000 per month making the maximum they can spend on mortgae payments at about Ksh. 20,000 . This prices them out of the mortgage markets since the average mortgage loan in Kenya is Ksh. 9.1 million. This financial disability in most low-middle income segments of the population has lead to the expansion of slums in major towns.
While urban housing in the country has suffered from lack of affordability, in rural areas this has led to poor quality of houses.
Mr. Macharia said the government is collaborating with various stake holders to put in place mechanisms and legislative frameworks that will propel the agenda forward. Among other legislation, the CS mentioned the Sectional Properties Act and the ongoing digitization of land records to improve the ease of conducting the business of property in the country.
In addition, a review of the Public Private Partnership framework is expected to improve the process of carrying out joint ventures and land swaps, among others.
Outlining the government’s achievements on the programmed so far, the CS said that the government has undertaken a survey to guide demand-based implementation of the project through audit firm KPMG.
The scheme has four components, social housing (those earning up to Sh. 19,999 per month), low cost housing (Sh. 20,000 to Sh. 49,999 per month), Mortgage Gap Housing (Sh. 50,000 to 149,999) and middle-high income housing (above Sh. 150,000 per month).