Government to address housing backlog

The government has formed a Research Centre to address the country’s 1.8 million housing units backlog which has forced over 60 per cent of Kenyans to live in informal settlements.

The Principal Secretary (PS) for Housing and Urban Development, Aidah Monano said plans were underway to formulate a strategic plan for the center dubbed Kenya Building Research Center (KBRC).

The PS said the country had operated without the services of such an institution for years which had adversely affected the housing sector particularly in urban areas.

We had a challenge of delivering adequate housing mainly among the middle class citizen but this will be now be addressed through the research center, she said.

She said the country had a backlog of 1.85m houses mainly in the urban centers forcing a large number of Kenyans to live in informal settlements.

The PS said the government was in the process of constructing one million houses in the next five years to address the backlog.

Munano added that the country was producing 20,000 housing units against a demand of 250,000 housing units annually which was too low.

The PS spoke to the press at a Naivasha hotel after opening a three day workshop on the Strategic Plan 2017-2021 Development and to review draft on building research.

She added that the research center will address affordable housing, financing and building materials.

UN-Habitat Representative, Dr. Vincent Kitio expressed concern over the high number of Kenyans living in informal settlements in urban centers and praised the initiative to form the Kenya Building Research Center to address the housing crisis.

In Kenya over 60 percent of the population is living informal settlement and this needs to be addressed urgently, he said.

He expressed concern over the high number of buildings in the country that were not designed by qualified architects, adding the situation was worsened by poor housing designs mainly in towns where investors were constructing ‘green houses’.

Source: Kenya News Agency