President Kenyatta and UNOPS launch 8,800 affordable housing units

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President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Habitat Heights, one of the projects of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and their partners that will see the delivery of 8,800 affordable housing units to Kenyans when complete. PHOTO/ State House Kenya.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday launched 8,800 housing units on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi that were developed through a partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to cater for low and middle income earners.

Kenyatta said during the launch of the new housing units that his government will strengthen partnerships with multilateral lenders and the private sector to boost home ownership.

“We are committed to increasing home ownership in the country as we embark on the implementation of the Affordable Housing Agenda,” said Kenyatta.

The government has laid the foundation to pave way for the development of affordable houses for our urban and peri-urban population through innovative financing,” he added.

Kenya’s State Department for Housing and Urban Development in September 2018 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UNOPS to develop 100,000 housing units.

The project, that is being implemented by a local contractor aims to deliver affordable homes for retired employees of various UN agencies based in Kenya and their families.

Kenyatta said that Kenya is leveraging on a progressive regulatory environment to attract capital into the affordable housing agenda.

“Our partnership with UNOPS and other private entities will enable future home buyers access affordable mortgages,” said Kenyatta adding that 5 billion U.S. dollars will be injected into the Kenyan economy once the 100,000 housing units are developed in conjunction with the UN body.

Kenyatta said the government has set aside 30 million U.S. dollars to develop supportive infrastructure like access roads, power, water and sewerage as the implementation of the affordable housing agenda gathers steam.

Vitaly Vanshelboim, executive director of UNOPS said that partnerships are key to ensure that Kenyans have access to decent homes irrespective of their socio-economic status.

“We look forward to showcasing the new housing project we have just delivered in partnership with the Kenyan government to the rest of Africa,” said Vanshelboim.

James Macharia, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for housing and urban development, said the government is banking on tax rebates to encourage the private sector to develop homes for low and middle income earners.

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