- Phase 1 of the Sh6 billion Buxton Point project is 90 per cent complete and the process of handing over the 584 units to the homeowners started on Saturday.
- He said those still working for the county will also have the county government be their guarantor to get a bank facility that will help them get a Tenant Purchase Scheme.
President William Ruto is expected to officially break ground for Phase 2 of the Buxton Point housing project in Mombasa in two weeks.
To ease the housing deficit in the country, Ruto’s administration promised to support the construction of 200,000 housing units annually, along with the necessary infrastructure for Kenyans living in urban areas all over the nation.
This will be President Ruto’s sixth affordable housing project launched this year following others in Homa Bay, Ruiru, Kibera, Shauri Moyo and Starehe.
Phase 1 of the Sh6 billion Buxton Point project is 90 per cent complete and the process of handing over the 584 units to the homeowners started on Saturday.
Some 109 unit owners in District C planted trees near their units to mark the beginning of a new journey in their lives.
“It is exciting to finally own a classy but affordable house at the centre of town in Mombasa. Going to work and back home will be easy. I almost can’t believe it,” one of the homeowners who was overwhelmed by emotions said.
They, however, sought anonymity for personal reasons.
Phase 1 has Districts A, B and C.
The project sits on a 14-acre piece of land valued at Sh2 billion in 2018.
The project is being undertaken by GulfCap Real Estate, whose chairman is Eala MP Suleiman Shahbal.
Shahbal said the 49 blocks in Phase 1 have taken two years to complete despite many setbacks including court and Senate cases.
“When we started this affordable housing project, we were opposed by many. We were sued, taken to the Senate and insulted everywhere," Shahbal said.
“But they did not understand that our aim was to show Kenyans that one can build a house at an affordable cost and have a healthy and conducive environment."
He said Mombasa should be proud because Buxton Point is the first affordable housing project in the country.
“I am happy because this project was done by Mombasa youth. Some 3,000 people were employed here and some 30 companies supplied building and other materials,” the Eala MP.
He said he is working with Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir and President Ruto to find a suitable way to ensure they get mortgage facilities that will be affordable to many.
This has been the sticking point between the county government and former tenants of the Buxton estate, which is the one being redeveloped.
The former tenants, led by John Tsuma, said they signed agreements giving them first priority and were even deducted some Sh60,000 from their Sh300,000 relocation fee as a deposit for their new units.
“We were to be given the units upon completion. But the units were then sold off-plan meaning the developer took money from the public to build the houses. This was not what we signed for,” Tsuma said.
However, Governor Nassir said he is working with other stakeholders to ensure all former tenants get units at Buxton Point.
He said the county staff who used to live in Buxton estate will be given priority and those about to retire will have the option of having their pension go towards purchasing the units in Phase 2.
He said those still working for the county will also have the county government be their guarantor to get a bank facility that will help them get a Tenant Purchase Scheme.
Nassir said there is no dispute that has no solution if people sit together and dialogue.
The governor said there are more options available for the non-county staff who used to live at Buxton estate.
“I have written to the State Department of Housing and told them the narrative they used in Kibera where the national government puts in their funds so that the people in Kibera can afford the affordable housing units should also be used in Buxton,” Nassir said.
He said that is why they are working with President Ruto to make this a reality.
“If Allah has brought us here today, He will also enable us to get that affordable mortgage so that even the kawaida person can afford to buy a unit in the second Phase. If you have the will, Allah will open the way," Nassir said.
Nassir said Mombasa is the smallest county but the population keeps on rising because of the many investments undertaken in the county.
Haki Yetu Organisation said Mombasa has a deficit of 24,000 housing units annually, which needs to be bridged.
Nassir said there is a need to utilise the small parcels of land available for housing projects.
He said before President Ruto breaks ground for the second phase, all Tenant Purchase Schemes will have been agreed upon.
“I ask that before the first tenant comes in here, we should have finalised every Tenant Purchase Agreement possible,” Nassir said.
Phase 2 of the Buxton Point will have 1,300 units that are currently on sale.
A one-bedroom unit in Phase 2 will go for Sh2.9 million, a two-bedroom will fetch Sh4.4 million and a three-bedroom unit will be bought at Sh5.9 million.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)