Since 2017 the Government has pursued a policy to create 500,000 new homeowners through the facilitation of affordable housing under the Big 4 Agenda. The programme ensures that working families can afford decent low-cost homes by reducing the cost of construction and offering them affordable mortgages.
Through the website, Boma Yangu all Kenyans can see the AHP projects being undertaken by the State Department for Housing and Urban Development, some of them in partnership with the private sector.
They can also register for free through the website link http://bomayangu.go.ke/ to own an affordable home. The only requirement is that one must be a Kenyan national aged 18 years and above.
Registration can be done at Huduma centres across the country. The cost of the units under the Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) range from KShs800,000 for a bedsitter to KShs 3 million for a three-bedroomed house.
The National Government has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with 24 Counties for development of at least 2,000 housing units in each county. Five Counties have already identified land for comprehensive planning and project implementation.
AHP is being delivered in phases starting with some flagship projects before being scaled up towards delivery of the 500,000 units across all the counties. It targets civil servants and Kenyans in the low income bracket who were previously excluded from owning decent homes due to prohibitive costs of construction and mortgages.
According to the State Department for Housing and Urban Development, over 74 percent of Kenyans in employment earn less than KShs 50,000 per month and thus can only pay a maximum of KShs 20,000 as mortgage monthly with the average price of mortgage houses in the private housing market averaging KShs 9 million.
AHP includes Social Housing for those earning up to KShs19, 999 per month Low Cost Housing for those taking home between KShs 20,000 to KShs 49,999 per month. Mortgage Gap Housing will cater for those earning between KShs 50, 000 and KShs149, 999 per month while Middle to high income housing will cater for those whose monthly income is KShs150, 000 and above.
Kirinyaga County will benefit from 200 affordable housing units to alleviate the shortage of decent houses in the area under a KShs 500 million program by NHC.
Cost-effective options in materials and construction will be deployed to keep the units affordable but decent. They include expanded polystyrene technology which is easy to apply. The technology is being used to construct KShs 20 billion housing units at Mavoko where the supplier is located.
Kisumu County launched a n AHP project for 3000 units with 1,700 units already under construction in Makasembo and 1,300 units in Anderson estates in the urban areas of the lakeside city.
The county has also partnered with the Local Authorities Provident Fund (LAPFUND), a retirement benefits scheme catering for employees of County Governments, water companies, and other associated organisations, to construct modern and affordable houses in Lumumba and Makasembo estates.
In Nakuru County, the construction of 600 AHP houses is ongoing under a joint partnership with the National Government and the World Bank. The project is in addition to 2,400 houses being built in n
Construction of the houses follows rising demand as local steel and cement manufacturers, animal feed makers and dairy firms set up shop in the Salgaa industrial zone.
The restoration of the old Meter Gauge Railways and its linkup with the Standard Gauge Railway at Mai Mahiu, the inland dry port, a business park established by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and an industrial park set up by Oserian Company are expected to spark even more demand for housing.
The AHP houses in Nakuru will be built on a 10 acre-land in Bondeni Estate within Nakuru Town East Sub-County while those in Naivasha are being constructed on a 55-acre plot of land along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway near GK Prisons.
As Nakuru and Naivasha are homes to a multibillion-shilling flourishing horticultural sector, a thriving hospitality industry, and fast rising to a commercial hub in East Africa, obviously, the demand for
Over 26 per cent of Kenyans live in cities and towns and the urban population is growing at a rate of 4.2 per cent every year,” said Kinyanjui.
Annual demand in Kenya for affordable housing for the middle and low income earners is 170,000 units, yet a mere 1,000 units are built every year. Kenya has only 25,000 housing mortgages catering for a population of over 40 million people.
Of the mortgages, 17,000 are not market-based as they have been advanced to individuals by their employers. The World Bank selected Nakuru to pilot the AHP because the city has the critical infrastructure needed for construction.
A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) 2020 detailed that many landlords were shifting focus to building smaller and affordable houses as demand increases, land space diminishes and the cost of living rises.
The National Government established the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC), which works with the banking sector and the cooperative movement through SACCOs, to make available affordable mortgages finance for those wishing to own a home. KMRC will help to extend the tenure of housing loans from the current average of seven years to at least 20 years.
In Kiambu, the KShs 11 billion Samara housing project in Migaa has kicked off as a public private partnership with Safaricom and Shelter Afrique and is expected to have 1,920 housing units.
The units will be priced as low as KShs 1 million for Kenyans earning below KShs 20,000.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNEBS) data shows that 92 per cent of people in Nairobi rent houses because they cannot just afford to buy their own.
In Nairobi the AHP pilot project of 1,370 housing units at Park Road in Ngara has been completed. The National Housing Development Fund is mobilising resources to fund housing projects in Mavoko and NHC Stoni Athi, which are at various stages of completion.
The construction of 25,965 affordable housing units in Starehe (3,360), Shauri Moyo (4,470), Kibera Zone B (4,435) and Mukuru (13,700) will begin soon as investors have been identified.
NHC is building 10,500 homes dubbed, Stoni Athi Waterfront City in Athi River, Mavoko Sub-County on a 150-acre land at a cost of Sh20 billion. The houses, which target low, middle, and high-income earners, will be multipurpose units varying from residential, commercial, recreational facilities, schools and hospitals.
The Mavoko project comprises of 5,000 affordable housing units costing between KShs1 million and KShs 3 million per unit, and 5,500 units targeting middle and upper-income households for between KShs 2 million and KShs 8 million a unit. The Government has built over 186,000 housing units across the country in the past eight years as part of the efforts to provide decent housing for Kenyans.
NHC will also be developing 5,000 housing units in Konza Techno City. NHC will embrace innovative options such as joint ventures and others to unlock the housing challenge.
In September 2021, Government commissioned the construction of 2,235 AHP units in Pangani, Nairobi County. In December 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Habitat Heights at Lukenya as part of AHP which have been constructed under a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Department for Housing and Urban Development and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for 100,000 units.
In Mombasa County, the KShs 6 billion Buxton Point is being constructed AHP. The 1900 housing units in Buxton will be available at a mortgage rate of 9 percent or less. A two-bedroom apartment at Buxton Point KShs 3 million compared to Sh6.5 million in the neighboring Tudor environs. One-bedroom unit is KShs 1.8 million and three-bedroom is KShs 4.2 million. Already, 1,253 houses have been sold.
The project will have commercial stalls, a youth venture to nurture local talents, a nursery school, a madrasa and a clinic.
Other estates targeted for rebuilding and AHP in Mombasa County are Changamwe, Likoni flats, Miritini, Tudor, Mzizima and Khadija.
Other AHP Projects
- Moke Gardens in Mavoko, Machakos County (built via PPP)
- King’s Sapphire – Bondeni Project (Nakuru City)
- Buxton Affordable Housing Project (Mombasa City)
- Kitui Affordable Housing Kalawa Rd (Kitui Town)
- Pangani Affordable Housing Project (a PPP in Nairobi City)
- Starehe Affordable Housing Project (Nairobi City)
- NHC Stoni Athi View (Machakos County)
- NHC Stoni Athi View (Economy Block-Rental)
- Mariguini Informal Settlement (Starehe, Nairobi City)
- Kibera Soweto East Zone B (Nairobi City)
- Kibera Soweto East Zone B
- Mavoko Sustainable Housing Programme (Machakos County)
- Park Road, Ngara (Nairobi City)
Government and Institutional Housing under AHP:
- Machakos Civil Servants Housing
- Embu Civil Servants Housing
- Kiambu Civil Servants Housing
- Kisumu, Shauri Moyo (Kisumu City)
Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC)
KMRC will provide long term funds to primary housing mortgage providers in the housing sector. It will improve mortgage affordability, increase the number of qualifying borrowers, and result in the expansion of the primary mortgage market and home ownership in Kenya.
The company has so far raised Kshs 2 billion and the National Treasury has mobilised additional Kshs 35 billion from partners to support the company’s operations.