Govt’ s plan to build 1Mn houses at Sh2.6Tr attract 35 firms

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The government  has shortlisted 35 firms to partner with the government in building 1 million houses over the next five years at a cost of Sh2.6 trillion.

According to the ministry of Transport, infrastructure ministryHousing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, the government will leverage on the private sector to source the funds and execute the project.

CS, “Nobody has Sh2.6 trillion. So as the government, we shall support with (building of) roads, power and water. Then the private sector will do the actual building of the houses.”

Macharia said that a total of 60 construction companies from the private sector had come forward to be part of the project with the ministry shortlisting 35 based on merit.

He, however, did not reveal which companies which will be constructing the houses.

The government will launch the pilot scheme next month in Mavoko with actual projects set to be constructed in various locations including Kitengela and Athi River and also in other counties.

“A lot of land is wasted like in Eastlands because there are single units which take up a few people. We want to negotiate with county governments so that they can bring down those houses so that we can put up 16-20 storey buildings and serve more people.”

To achieve this, the CS said that there is a raft of new proposals which will be brought forward to ensure the goals are met as per the law.

“Urban Cities and Areas Act, for instance, will be presented to Parliament soon. There will also be sectionals papers and changing of laws especially on land utilization where people with idle land can be penalized.”

Macharia was speaking during the launch of the National Urban Forum.

Affordable housing is one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ‘Big 4 Action Plan’ during his second term as President. Others include food security, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.