Kenyan government forced to shop for international firm to build 8,000 low-cost housing after local firms failed the test

Kenya is planning to construct 8,000 low-cost housing units in Mavoko, Machakos County.

Kenya is currently seeking for international and local joint ventures to help construct 8,000 low-cost housing units in Mavoko, Machakos County; this is after domestic firms failed the test to execute the mega housing development exposing local firms inadequacies.

Confirming the reports, Transport, Infrastructure and Urban Development Cabinet secretary, Mr. James Macharia said that the initiative which is meant to fast-track the mass housing development in the region is currently stalled.

“No local firm has the capacity for such development and what we want are companies that have done projects and have a verifiable record of having handled mass housing development. We however encourage joint ventures that will promote local companies’ capacity as well as foster a practical technology-transfer platform,” he said.

Mr. Macharia pointed out that so far, 35 companies had been shortlisted for the pilot project under an engineering and procuring construction model. The model gives room for winning bidders to source for financing and put up the houses using affordable (of below US$ 15,000) designs and technologies that are time-efficient and of very high quality.

“We plan to have the ground breaking within the next three months in Mavoko region. However, we have an objective of being part of the 47 counties in Kenya where each county will have a project executed while densely populated counties such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Kisumu among others, will witness more high-rise residential housing projects,” he added.

The housing project is part of the government’s Sh2.6 trillion plan to build 1 million houses within the next five years with a target of building 200,000 units every year targeting the middle class.

According to the World Bank, Kenya needs to build 244,000 homes every year in order to meet the ever growing demand, however less than a quarter of these numbers are ever built.

Furthermore, the country needs to build two million affordable city homes to meet its housing deficit and stem the growth of its sprawling slums, according to the latest economic update from the World Bank Group dubbed the Kenya Economic Update: Housing—Unavailable and Unaffordable report.

The Government will make available 55 acres of land to facilitate the construction of a total of 8,000 low cost two and three bedroomed houses.

The housing units will be sold to the public for a price of between Kshs. 1 million and 1.5 million.

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