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How State’s Sh13 Bn Housing kitty will create 5,000 jobs

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By Victor MUJIDU

The State Department of Housing and Urban Development (SDHUD) has partnership with Gulf Cap Africa Limited to construct 6,704 affordable housing units in the Starehe constituency at a cost of KES 13 billion. The project will take atleast 36 months to be ready for occupation.

Read: Kenya takes another stab at affordable housing crisis 

The ground-breaking project, presided over by President William Ruto on Monday, aligns with his government’s goal of developing 200,000 housing units annually for low and middle-income earners.

“We will transform Kenya; but not through empty rhetoric,” President William Ruto said.

But how will it create jobs to our youths?

President Ruto further said that the housing project will dedicate more than Sh500 million worth of tenders for Jua-Kali. The national government, in partnership with the tender-awarded company (GulfCap Real Estate), will create 5,000 job opportunities for youth.

“This is what we mean by offering decent homes while generating employment for the youth,” he added. According to GulfCap Real Estate Chairman Suleiman Shahbal, at least 50 percent of the tenders will go to women.

The Starehe housing project is expected to utilize two parcels of land totaling about 22.4 acres along Lumbwa Street and Meru road, adjacent to Majengo and Gikomba informal settlements.

The SDHUD Cabinet Secretary Zacharia Mwangi Njeru said the project will not only provide decent homes for Kenyans but also create a stimulus for local development through employment opportunities for the youth and women in the construction industry.

“We estimate that close to KES 500 million of the project value will go towards creating value for the local MSMEs – with at least 50% going towards women. In addition, the project will generate over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, providing much-needed income for our youth” said CS Njeru.

The proposed development will comprise 2,000 social housing units retailing at KES 1.155m, and a total of 4704 one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units ranging from KES 2.5m to KES 3.5m. The holistic project will be complemented by the construction of social amenities such as swimming pools, food courts, green spaces, LPG, and ICT connectivity among other supporting internal infrastructure such as cabro paved driveways.

“Part of the partnership will be the transformation of Starehe and its environs, including the upgrading of the Ziwani dispensary and local schools. This underlines our firm commitment, as a Ministry, to elevate people’s living standards and livelihoods by providing affordable, safe, sustainable, and dignified communities,” added CS Njeru.

“The project will be a comprehensive affordable housing development. It will consist of social housing, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units, designed to elevate people’s living standards and livelihoods,” said Mr. Charles Hinga, Housing, and Urban Development Principal Secretary.

Mr. Hinga further said that “The project will dedicate at least Sh0.5 billion of the project value for the local MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises).”

Previous attempts

The country’s immediate former President Uhuru Kenyatta allocated Sh27.2 billion to the Affordable Housing Programme in his last allocation, even though the project fell under criticism after failing to deliver the 500,000 housing units by 2022 as promised by Uhuru despite massive funding allocations.

As of September 28, 2021, at least 2,235 affordable housing units were occupied, and construction was underway on many others, but nothing close to 500,000.

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