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Ruto’s Strategies To Meet Housing Need In Kenya

It was not a surprise, therefore, that in Ruto’s manifesto, The Kenya Kwanza Plan: The Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda 2022-2027, affordable housing was discussed, with a plan to jump over the hurdles that have slowed down implementation in the past five years, including a mouth-watering budget for the same.

With Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, hosting well over 4.4 million people, and the rest of the country growing at a high rate, the need for housing is certainly a priority for this government, and for governments after this.

Interpolations show that the population of the country has crossed the 55 million mark in 2022, with Worldometer indicating that the country is home to 56.5 million, a rise of eight million in the three years since the last census in 2019. In 2009, the population was 38.6 million and in 1999, 28.7 million.

Everyone wants to live in good homes. With the advancement of modern technology in the modern era, it is quite shocking that housing remains a major challenge on a local and global scale.

Housing is one of the basic social and economic rights enshrined in Kenya’s constitution. During the recently concluded elections, voters were given a slew of housing-related promises.

With the advancement of modern technology in the modern era, it is quite shocking that housing remains a major challenge on a local and global scale.

Housing is one of the basic social and economic rights enshrined in Kenya’s constitution. During the recently concluded elections, voters were given a slew of housing-related promises.

Meanwhile, Ruto was part of a Jubilee administration that sought to deliver 500,000 affordable houses by the end of its reign in 2022. Affordable housing was one of the key pillars of the infamous Big 4 agenda, which was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017.

But the dream – which included a promise to audit 6,000 buildings per year to ensure their safety and security – proved a little too ambitious.

Following a closely contested election and the electoral results being challenged at Kenya’s Supreme Court, they were affirmed as having been duly elected by the people as the New Administration. Following a closely contested election and the electoral results being challenged at Kenya’s Supreme Court, they were affirmed as having been duly elected by the people as the New Administration.

Turning the housing commitments from just the manifesto to actual realistic and sustainable planning for alleviating the housing challenge is the ideal objective. This article shall delve into some of the housing policies and how they can be a solution to this perennial problem. They include;

Kenya
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Urban housing

Urban housing focuses on towns, cities, and counties. Additionally, it aims to create employment for individuals in the construction sector. The housing production apart from solving the urban housing challenge will also reduce house congestion in urban areas.

Furthermore, affordable housing units should be constructed countrywide. If the government realizes its goal from the manifesto of building 250,000 house units per annum, this will go a long way in easing the burden of private investors building expensive homes for the few. In the same vein, in having these units as affordable as “possible”, many Kenyans will realize the dream of owning a place to call their residence or home.

Housing financial schemes aimed at low-cost production of houses are a great way of solving the housing challenge. A stable and long-term financial plan with loans that have “low” interest rates does attract lending by the majority in the employment sector. As mentioned above, the construction of homes and houses solves the unemployment challenge in a great way.

With Cooperative social housing taking center stage in the housing plan, many will be able to live and own homes from the developers. The cooperative social housing agenda enables people to pool resources towards living in the housing units at a cheaper or affordable rate. This in the long run attracts development partners who see the housing challenge as an opportunity for Corporate Social Responsibility and building community homes that are decent.

Low-cost mortgages that will increase the percentage of access give the citizenry the confidence of building the homes of their dreams. More so, with low-interest rates, the mortgage is no longer seen as being “accessible” to the few but rather helps in solving the housing challenge that has always been crippled by a lack of funds.

The manifesto highlighted the Jua Kali industry’s capacity of delivering high-quality construction materials that are locally sourced. This is an enormous way to reduce imports of construction materials and increase employment percentage by double digits.  The developers and investors in housing plans and management are encouraged to construct houses via the following incentives:

Reduction of taxes, available labor to aid in construction, conducive business environment, availability of raw materials used in construction, and trade agreements that make real estate investment a priority rather than a secondary need.

Rural Housing Settlement

The purchase of large tracts of land to benefit squatters and reduce land conflict helps alleviate the housing challenge in rural settlement areas. Issuance of title deeds to legitimate land owners boosts people’s confidence in using the land for the construction of homes apart from using the land for agricultural purposes.

The manifesto highlighted the creation of the Settlement Fund seeks to stop land fragmentation and advocates for transferable residential plots that have an agreeable lease period. This ensures land ownership catered for residential purposes is realized.

The ball is in the Government’s court in promoting decent, affordable, and comfortable housing for every Kenyan. Indeed it is a tall order but with the right mechanisms in place and the construction of house plans in order, housing plans can be considered the right solution rather than a challenge. Decent housing should be a right of every Kenyan and not a privilege of the “wealthy few”.

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