Demand for housing in Murang’a County has risen drastically, surpassing its supply something that has seen a good number of people working within the county seek shelter elsewhere in towns like Juja and Thika despite availability of vast land.
Jacob Mwangangi, who is the Chairman of Murang’a County Cooperatives, reveled this recently Kabuta in Kiharu Constituency during the issuance of title deeds and launch of Kabuta phase 8 project, a 15-acre parcel of land owned by the giant Broad Borders Housing Cooperative Society.
Mwangangi pointed out that the county lacked ample investment in terms of housing that could have otherwise catered for the emerging deficit caused by the influx of human resource and students in the county.
“There has been a huge and growing number of students in Murang’a town after Murang’a University College was awarded a charter. Recently, Pioneer International University also opened a campus in Murang’a town not mentioning other private colleges that have mushroomed in the town. Likewise, with the implementation of the devolution, the workforce within the county has tripled, something that has increased the demand for shelter and housing,” said Mwangangi.
“As a result,” Mwangangi added, “the cost of housing in Murang’a has skyrocketed, leaving majority of low-income earners out of reach for proper housing.”
It is for this reason that Broad Borders Housing cooperative Society embarked on investing in real estate and housing both for its members and the members of public at large. The organisation has invested in land in Murang’a and 26 other counties with traits of fast growing towns that that exceeded the supply in housing.
Its chairman Mr. Jeremy Karemeri explained that their driving force was to ensure that their members acquired plots in very affordable and pocket friendly terms.
“We have always gone out of our way to give our members an opportunity to pay for their plots in installments. This programme has attracted quite a number of members especially those low-income earners who would have otherwise not managed to raise the rump sum in one payment,” said Jeremy.
“No one should consider themselves as incapable of own a home for themselves. We at Broad Borders have a package for everyone. We offer a stepping stone and a spring board for them as we offer them land that they pay at their own pace,” he added.
He however lamented that the real estate market had been invaded and infiltrated by cartels who had painted a bad picture in the industry through their dubious and clandestine deals that had seen so many people either lose their land or money. To protect its farmers from falling prey to these cartels, the cooperative went through all due diligence with the Ministry of Lands and the Registrar of Persons to establish the real ownership of any parcel of land.
During the launch, over 300 title deeds were issued to members. Some of the members like Jane Muchai and Rev. James Peter Mwangi lauded the cooperative for its support saying they would not have been in a position to own land had it not been the intervention of Broad Borders Cooperative Society.
“As a woman, I could only manage to raise money to buy household items but it never crossed my mind that I would one day afford to pay for my own plot of land for I could not have been able to raise huge amount of money at once. But the entry of Broad Borders into Murang’a in 2015 gave me a chance to pay for my plot in small installments till now. I so overjoyed as I receive my title deed today,” said Jane.
As for Rev. James, Broad Borders was God sent since both the rich and the poor could now afford a place they could call their own.
“I just paid reasonable deposit and they allowed me to grow in value as we progressed. I have now cleared my balance with time in small instalments. The beauty of all this is that by the time I finished my payments, the value of my plot had almost doubled,” said James.