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Avail land to private developers to help fix housing deficit–Mizizi CEO

Kenya has a deficit of 2 million houses, every year Kenya needs approximately 200,000 housing units

In Summary
  • The infrastructural support under public-private partnership, Mizizi Africa Homes CEO says will encourage developers to put up more affordable housing units.
  • The CEO proposes an arrangement where the government can sell land to private developers at subsidised rates
Mizizi Africa Homes CEO, George Mburu
Mizizi Africa Homes CEO, George Mburu
Image: COURTESY

Mizizi Africa Homes wants the government to avail land to private developers to accelerate efforts of bridging the country’s housing deficit.

The infrastructural support under public-private partnership, Mizizi Africa Homes CEO, George Mburu said will encourage developers to put up more affordable housing units and help the government meet its ambitious target of 500,000 by 2022. 

“Government alone cannot fix the housing deficit on its own. To accelerate development of affordable housing units, the government can offer infrastructural support in the form of availing land for putting up the housing units,” said Mburu.

Kenya has a deficit of 2 million houses, every year Kenya needs approximately 200,000 housing units.

“The country is in urgent need of many housing units as the current deficit continues to grow. We need to find a lasting solution and this can only be through public-private partnerships,” said Mburu.

The Mizizi Africa CEO proposes an arrangement where the government can sell land to private developers at subsidised rates or offers flexible payment models with long tenure including settling costs at a later date.

The government can also accelerate the pace of other necessary approvals. 

“This will allow us to significantly increase the number of units we churn out from 100 to 1,000,” he said.

Cost of purchasing land takes about 30 per cent of the total project cost.

Taking this out would translate to 30 per cent savings that can be passed on to customers in the form of affordable houses.

The Kenyan government's affordable housing initiative  is part of President Uhuru's big four agenda.

It provides an opportunity for property developers to diversify, as the commercial and high-end residential property markets cool down due to oversupply and constrained consumer spending.

The initiative is, however, hampered by a lack of funding and court cases against a national housing development levy.