Eldoret developers go for flats to maximise land-use

POPULAR: Some of the new apartments being developed along the Eldoret- Kisumu road.
POPULAR: Some of the new apartments being developed along the Eldoret- Kisumu road.

ELDORET town, the commercial centre for Kenya's food basket counties of North Rift, is experiencing a growth in apartments on sale as developers bid to cut a huge housing deficit estimated at more than 100,000 units a year.

At least eight apartment blocks with more than 15,000 units have been completed, with more than half of them sold.

Two of the main apartment blocks are located along the Eldoret-Kisumu road near the Eldoret International Airport while rest have been built along the Eldoret-Nakuru highway.

“The demand for housing is quite high and investors are taking advantage of the available market to develop modern apartments in Eldoret,” Uasin Gishu's Lands and Housing executive Robert Ngisirey said.

The new housing apartments have amenities including ample parking, children play grounds, shopping malls, kindergartens, gyms and other facilities.

The residences target mainly middle-income earners, largely those in education sector and private sector.

“The apartments are selling at prices ranging between Sh1.5 million to Sh3 million depending on the size, but most of them are two-bedroom units,” Paul Simwa, a property dealer, said.

He said the town still requires more such apartments to ease the housing shortage.

Uasin Gishu county has planned to spend at least Sh3 billion to build residences from next year, according to governor Jackson Mandago.

The county has planned to put up its own apartments in several locations in Eldoret where the existing aging estates are set for demolition.

About 1,200 houses are expected to be brought down, with notices already issued to current to vacate.

Mandago said the proposed blocks will be put up in partnership with the private sector, and will be sold or let at “fair rates”. Some of them will be allotted to county government staff.

Estates that will be affected include Kidiwa, Macharia and Pioneer.

"We can't maintain such houses on prime land which we want to use to put up modern estates so that the county can earn more," Mandago said.

He said apartment blocks are more suitable for the land to maximise land-use.

State-owned National Housing Corporation will also be involved in the planned development as it put up some of those to be demolished. Chinese investors are exploring the possibilities of partnering with the county in putting up the new housing schemes.