THE North Rift Economic Bloc unveiled last month by eight governors plans to partner with private organisations to build over one million houses in the region.
The regional bloc, which comprises Trans Nzoia, Samburu, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo-Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo and Turkana counties, targets to build the houses over the next five years.
A development blueprint for the economic bloc which was set up to harmonise taxes and laws to support various investments, lists housing as a major incentive to wooing investors to the region.
“Our urban centers are growing rapidly because of devolution and provision of housing is one major incentive that we can give to expected investors so that they tap into the vast potentials and opportunities we have,” said Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat.
The housing projects will focus on major towns in the eight counties of Eldoret, Kitale, Lodwar, Kabarnet, Iten, Maralal, Kapenguria and Kapsabet.
Lagat said the counties will seek public-private partnerships for the housing projects.
Currently, most real estate projects in the region have been developed by world renowned athletes, most of whom hail from the North Rift.
International athletes have boosted the property sector in Eldoret with a combined land and building asset value of more than Sh3 billion, according to Uasin Gishu County.
Former three-time Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui said Eldoret is ideal for property investments and many athletes are interested in buying or develop ing new homes and buildings in the town.
“The number of athletes investing in Eldoret and neigbouring areas like Kapsabet and Iten has been quite high within the last two years. Many of them want land for their own homes or for commercial purposes,” said Tanui.