Treasury eyes land reforms to spur affordable housing plan


Treasury eyes land reforms to spur affordable housing plan
A block of cheap housing units in Nairobi's Pangani PHOTO | CITIZEN DIGITAL

The National Treasury is looking at reforms on land and building plans as a means to spur the government’s affordable housing plan.

In a notice published in local dailies on Monday, the planning Ministry indicated that it is seeking consultants to advice on potential reforms.

The consultant(s) are expected to delve in the assessment of the performance of land sector institutions, prepare a 10-year land reform plan and assess the capacity of building plans.

Further, the consultant(s) will be tasked with preparing a road map and budget estimates for the land reform plans and prepare a public sensitization campaign.

All the consultancy services are expected to be completed within 19 months pushing any remedies to spur affordable housing beyond the August 2022 threshold when the current administration will vacate office.

The reforms are part of the Kenya Affordable Housing Finance Project (KAHFP) which has the financial backing of the World Bank.

Kenya’s cheap housing dream has been slow to take-off and remains a far-cry from the target of putting up 500,000 cheap housing units by August next year.

According to an analysis of the ‘Big-4’ pillar by the Parliament Budget Office (PBO) published in May this year, only 1370 housing units have been delivered representing a dismal 0.3 per cent performance rate.

Nevertheless, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga insists the initiative is alive saying the Ministry remains equal to the task at hand even as this means the sealing of the goal beyond next year.

“We are not yet where we want to be with respect to the number of units constructed. However, we have over 550,000 units in the pipeline at various stages with most of them at financial close,” he said on June 16.

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