EVICTEES WANTED TO GO TO COURT

Pangani affordable housing project begins on Friday

City Hall struck a deal with 48 tenants to give them first priority to buy the houses

In Summary

• 1,434 units to be construed in Pangani. 

• 90 per cent of labour and materials be sourced locally.

A resident of Pangani who was evicted on July 15.
A resident of Pangani who was evicted on July 15.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Contractors will move on site in Pangani to survey and lay ground for the much awaited Nairobi Urban Renewal Affordable Housing project.

At least 12 tenants were forcibly evicted from the area by the County Government of Nairobi on Monday night. Governor Mike Sonko on Tuesday defended the evictions and said the county acted within the law.  

He said the county administration has an agreement with 48 tenants to make them homeowners once the first phase unit are completed. The deal was sealed in the presence of lawyers. In the agreement, tenants have until July 31 to move out of the houses.

 

"All the tenants were to receive Sh600,000 compensation. We reached this agreement in the presence of their lawyers. They will be given first priority to be homeowners," Sonko said.

However, county officials learnt that some tenants had attempted to seek stay orders from the court to block the project from kicking off. The raised fears of delay of the housing project.

The tenants will use the Sh600,0000 to pay rent for the next 12 months.

Technofin Kenya, the firm that will oversee the building of the houses, is expected to set up 1,434 units in Pangani. Phase one of the project will cost Sh25 billion an land valued at Sh4 billion.

Once completed, the 48 tenants will be allocated a new house each which costs Sh3 million. They are to pay for the houses in a 30-year period at a negotiated monthly rent of Sh8,000.

It had been recommended that companies contracted for the housing project be given a maximum of three years to finish the work. Sessional Paper 1 of 2018 on the Urban Regeneration policy states that the time limit is mandatory for the project to be effective.

The document also proposes that 90 per cent of labour and materials be sourced locally. The affordable housing project should have already begun but persistent delays put it on hold.

 

Ngong Road phase one and phase two should have started, but the county government said legal disputes delayed the project.

There were disputes between two companies Ederman and Lordship Africa over the project. Edemerman lost the case. 

Unlike in Pangani, there were no people to relocate on Ngong Road phase one project since the land is located at police training grounds. Ngong Road phase two project will have at least 4,000 units. 

In October last year, it was established that four of the seven estates in the housing project are located on the flight paths of Moi Airbase and Wilson Airport. The estates included Pangani, Ngara, Jevanjee and Bachelors.

Initially the county wanted to construct 30-storey buildings. it might now reduce that to 14 storeys for estates on the flight path.

The affordable housing programme is part of the government’s efforts to reduce the housing backlog that currently stands at 2 million.

It is anticipated that 200,000 units will be built annually in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.

The national government targets to build 500,000 houses across Kenya by 2022.

(Edited by P. Wanambisi)