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Mizizi calls for clarity on affordable housing ‘agenda’

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By Monica Muema

Mizizi Africa Homes is calling on the government to entrench affordable housing agenda, a mega vision 2030 project to ensure it receives proper attention, benefit from progressive and conducive policies to help fix housing deficit.

The developer has expressed fears that the gains made so far risk being eroded if the next government drops housing as a flagship project- Already the current government has missed its target of putting up 500,000 housing units.

“If the current trend continues, setting such ambitious targets would only be lip service. Affordable housing should be somewhere in the medium term planning with realistic goals that also factors in population growth,” said Mizizi Africa Homes Chief Executive Officer, George Mburu.

Affordable housing, a key pillar of the current government, has managed to construct just over 1,370 low cost units with plans to put up over 25,965 more units in the next financial year.

These still fall short of the target by far-affirming the need to make it a key pillar among long term projects.

Vision 2030 blueprint gives a projection on the housing environment, citing decent living and quality of life, which Mburu said gives a head-start to build on through a more robust and inclusive public private partnership.

“Even these projections need a robust backing by government and private sector to ensure the bulging population fits in the middle income bracket to enjoy decent life with disposable income to support growth of pension and credit portfolio for affordable onward lending to big projects,” said Mburu.

He added, “We also need to streamline public private partnerships with local developers to not only push up the number of units but also to get the correct tally on affordable housing units annually against a growing population.”

Currently, Kenya has an annual housing demand of 250,000 units with an estimated supply of 50,000 units, culminating in a housing deficit of 2 million units, or 80% deficit.

Affordability has been the biggest barrier to housing a bigger population- according to the government’s Blue Print, affordable houses range between at Kshs. 1million to Kshs. 3 million per unit on average.

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