NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – President William Ruto on Wednesday launched 5300 housing units in Syokimau as part of the Kenya Kwanza commitment to achieve an affordable housing plan.
Speaking during the groundbreaking of the Mavoko Housing Project in Machakos County, President Ruto said that the Sh20 billion housing project is a partnership between the national government, the county government, and other private sectors aimed at ensuring that every Kenyan becomes a homeowner.
“That is why I am happy today that we are building about 5300 houses as part of the affordable housing program. This is a project in which we unite the government, the people of the UN Habitat, private sectors and now we have also received support from the county government here in Machakos. This partnership is so that the government can find a good place where our citizens will find shelter, they will find a house,” said the President.
President Ruto further said that the government intends to construct over 200, 000 houses each year to ensure over six million Kenyans living in informal settlements can get access to affordable houses, adding that less than 40, 000 Kenyans pay mortgage.
“Our intention is to build 200,000 – 250,000 houses every year, and that plan is because we have millions of Kenyans who live in informal settlements. More than 6.5 million Kenyans live in slums. The number of people who have a mortgage in Kenya is less than 40,000. We should have around 1.5 million people paying a mortgage to become homeowners. But the problem is that we do not have houses that ordinary people can buy. The houses that are being built are highly priced,” stated Ruto.
Ruto who emphasized that the housing project is dear to his administration, pledged to work in collaboration with the devolved units so that the program becomes a success.
“We have said that we will deliberately build affordable houses so that ordinary citizens can also become homeowners. We are going to work together with the county governments to make sure that this program of affordable and social housing becomes a reality,” added the President.
The Head of State further said that women in the construction industry will be given priority in the construction of the Mavoko Housing Project, adding that the sector has been dominated by men for a long time.
“We have also agreed that this will be the first project in which we will provide opportunities to female workers. You know this construction sector has been colonized by men. We have said we are going to start with this project,” noted the President.
“And the contractor has been asked under the agreement we have with UN – Habitat and the government of Kenya to give opportunity to women who are artisans, who are electricians, those who are plumbers so that we begin to profile and to see that what men can do, women can do better,” Ruto said.
The housing plan is aimed at expanding access to quality and secure dwelling places as well as presenting opportunities for gainful employment and wealth creation to millions of Kenyan youth.
Accompanying the President for the commissioning of the Mavoko Housing Project was Land and Housing Cabinet Secretary Zakariah Njeru, Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti, Kitui Governor Julius Malombe, Machakos Senator Agnes Kavindu and Mavoko MP Patrick Makau.