Senior officials said on Monday that an overhaul of policies and laws governing the housing sector has gone overdrive to help eliminate red tapes and malpractices that hamper the sector’s growth.
“We have embarked on implementation of a new legal and policy framework to facilitate investments in the housing industry. The government is focusing on public private partnership to help expand access to quality homes,” said the acting Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Housing Fred Matiang’i.
He spoke in Nairobi during a stakeholder’s forum on affordable housing attended by policymakers, developers and regulators.
Kenya has one of the most vibrant housing markets in Sub-Saharan Africa thanks to macro-economic stability and rising incomes among the urban middle class.
Matiang’i said the government has focused on innovative financing models to help develop additional housing units in the densely populated urban settlements.
“A conducive regulatory environment is crucial to encourage investments in the housing market. We intend to harness pension funds to develop modern housing units in Nairobi and other big cities,” said the CS.
Kenya requires 200,000 housing units annually to help meet a growing demand for decent shelter in cities and rural towns. Matiang’i said the government aims to construct 300,000 housing units by 2017 through a public private partnership financing model.
“Besides exploring new financing models, we are encouraging adoption of appropriate building technology to ensure citizens have access to affordable and durable houses,” said Matiang`i.
Disjointed policies and laws, high cost of building materials, insecure land tenure and low adoption of new technologies have undermined growth of the housing sector.
Andrew Saisi, mangaing director of The National Housing Corporation, emphasized that institutional reforms, skills development and adoption of appropriate building technology will revitalize growth of Kenyan housing market.
“Tax incentives on developers and establishment of local factories to manufacture building materials will accelerate growth of the housing sector in the country,” Saisi said. Enditem