AFFORDABLE HOMES

Resolve questions around housing project — mothers

They raise concerns on affordable housing plan, suggest ways to encourage contribution

In Summary

• Mothers raised concerns over inclusivity of project for youths, women and persons with disability

• They suggest formation of committees in villages to educate citizens on project 

Mami’s Touch founder and CEO Geraldine Muiruri
MOTHERS' VIEW: Mami’s Touch founder and CEO Geraldine Muiruri
Image: STANLEY NJENGA

The affordable housing project is a noble idea to provide every Kenyan with their right to decent housing, a mothers' association has said. 

But they have questions about the inclusivity of the project for youths, women and persons living with disability.

Apart from low rent control, which is the major factor, some of their worries are the state of infrastructure around where the houses will be located.

 

The mothers expressed concerns about the proximity of the units to health centres and places of work. They also raised the question of whether those that are already paying for their mortgages and those that have built homes will contribute to the scheme. 

Others asked what guarantee Kenyans will be given the 25 years of contributing will lead to them owning a house. 

Mami's Touch founder and CEO Geraldine Muiruri said committees should be formed at the village level to share this information to avoid fraud and make the process more people-driven. 

"Some citizens have no idea of the project, begging the question of public participation. This is a clear indication that a human-centred approach towards the execution of this agenda would be key for its success," she said. 

Borrowing from other countries like South Africa, one of the things would be establishing a central database where households can register their need for adequate shelter, their family composition and what type of assistance they require from the government. They would keep updating the details according to their current status.

Public-private partnerships would also come in handy, she suggests.

"Apart from setting aside money for building homes, the government can provide infrastructure and encourage developers to develop there,” a woman in real estate business said.

 

Cost will make most people shy away from investing in this as many Kenyans lie in the low income-earning category, she said.

For most, the solution would be building rentals and capping the rent to 30 per cent of their income.

Research shows that there is a relationship between good housing and health. The mothers suggest that people are encouraged into cooperatives and to invest for housing instead of the lottery type of selection or first-come-first-serve competition for houses.

The mothers suggested upgrading of rural houses to decongest cities and discourage rural-urban movement. This would also reduce slums, they said. 

Edited by R.Wamochie