• Housing deficit in Kenya stands at 2 million, grows at 200,000 units a year
• Shelter Afrique the only pan-African finance institution exclusively supporting housing
Transport, Infrastructure and Housing CS James Macharia has been elected the first Vice President of Shelter Afrique.
The move came as a boost to Kenya's affordable housing programme.
The housing deficit in Kenya stands at 2 million and continues to grow at a rate of about 200,000 units a year, according to UN-Habitat.
UN-Habitat said there is a proliferation of informal settlements in urban areas with 61 per cent of the urban population living in slums in overcrowded homes typically with only one room and no adequate ventilation.
Kenya, being one of the significant shareholders of Shelter Afrique, will now use its position to shape her destiny in the adoption of affordable housing.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has identified housing as one of his administration’s Big Four agenda.
Kenya is keen on realising its Big Four economic development agenda – housing pillar– that will see the realisation of the ongoing construction of 500,000 affordable houses for Kenyans by 2022.
Shelter Afrique is the only pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa.
It also offers advisory solutions to its members, 44 African governments, the African Development Bank and the Africa Reinsurance Company.
These include project finance, institutional lending, equity investments & joint ventures, trade finance, and social housing. They also offer practical advice and technical assistance to a wide range of industry stakeholders.
By meeting the needs of the continent’s rapidly growing urban population, Shelter Afrique’s work has a direct and positive impact on the lives of many.
In 2019-20, the National Treasury allocated Sh10.5 billion to cater for social housing and construction of affordable housing units, including housing units for the Kenya Prison and Police.
Included also are Sh2.3 billion for the Public Servants Housing Mortgage Scheme and Sh5 billion for the National Housing Development Fund, as contributions by the government for its employees.
Further, the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company received a capital injection of Sh1 billion from the government and Sh35 billion credit line from the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank.
The company also received Sh1.2 billion from banks and Saccos.
The company is also expected to get a further Sh400 million from other development financial institutions such as IFC and Shelter Afrique, in form of equity injection.
Shelter Afrique has been in operations for 36 years with 17,572 projects completed so far.
Cumulative loan approvals as at last year stood at $1.147 billion (Sh114.7 billion) while the cumulative disbursements stood at $665.8 million(Sh66.6 billion).
Macharia was elected during Shelter Afrique’s 38th annual general meeting in Marrakech, Morocco on Friday last week.
“Considering the housing programme requires more financial injection, the government will use this opportunity to influence investor confidence into the project,” the CS said.
He said Shelter Afrique places Kenya and its other member states at a vantage point that invites investors in housing projects.
Shelter Afrique builds strategic partnerships and offers a host of products and related services to support the efficient delivery of affordable housing and commercial real estate.
Macharia on June 10 toured the Mavoko Affordable Housing Project that is almost complete.
It comprises 453 houses, 87 market stalls, 13 shops and 12 Jua Kali sheds.
Social amenities include a primary and nursery school and a multi-purpose social centre.
Kenya is keen to eradicate slums and is committed to providing a substantial number of affordable homes in slums by 2022.
This is in line with Sustainable Development Goal no 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
In Ngara, the first phases of 228 units are expected to be complete in September.
The government is set to build 1,370 houses at Park Road.
Edited by R.Wamochie