Affordable Housing Project to Upscale Mavoko, Provide Jobs


As part of the government’s Big Four agenda, the project will be one of the key pillars in the manufacturing sector where the town is set for a rapid change and social upheaval due to a large influx of new residents, gentrification and establishment of new industries. Habitat Heights Housing project is the first of its kind in Kenya lined up by the United Nations Office for Project Services and their partners to be implemented in the country. Some 100,000 housing units will be constructed in the project. 

However, the project could offer serious competition to the housing boom enjoyed by small development firms, real estate investors, Saccos and bank-fronted projects whose units are sold at premium prices of more than Sh3.5 million. Habitat Heights will be as low as Sh1 million to Sh1.5 million for a unit.

Apart from getting low-cost housing, Mavoko residents will benefit from jobs in the construction of both commercial and residential housing units.  Furthermore, the project will increase the revenue to both the county and the national governments. It will also lead to the improvement of recreational centres, construction of new roads and provision of market supply of goods and services towards the realization of industrialization.

Since the project will be constructed along Mombasa Road, rural to urban migration is paramount with an appreciation of land prices. Some of the other amenities expected to be installed at the project site are a market place, 24-hour security and high-class CCTV cameras, a school, playing sites and a gym, swimming pools and parking zones among others. 

In the Sh50 billion project which is in the pilot stage and is meant to benefit low-income earners, several building technologies will be introduced for mass housing unit builders.  Transport CS James Macharia last week said the project will unlock the capacity to attract investment that will ultimately help to lift living standards.  Macharia, who led the issuance of strategic partners’ certificates, said this is the first key project to be launched across the country and it will be constructed on 4,272 acres which were handed back to the national government by East African Portland Cement through the Housing ministry. 

United Nations Office for Project Services Executive Director Vitaly Vanshelboim said the Habitat Heights project is vital in addressing the need for affordable and sustainable housing in Kenya. “UNOPS will be working with the government in bringing to bear our innovative technologies and global partnerships in order to provide 100,000 houses for Kenyan citizens, while at the same time offering significant employment opportunities,” Vitaly said. Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua commended President Uhuru Kenyatta and the investors for choosing Mavoko for the project saying it will boost the economy of the whole country. 

“Shelter is one of the basic necessities and a decent home should be a right for all Kenyans, I salute President Kenyatta’s vision for a developed Kenya and support his programme of unifying Kenyans and creating a stable environment for development,” Mutua said. He said his government will work closely with the UNOPS for the success of the project.  Mavoko MP Patrick Makau urged the government to reconsider buying the land from locals instead of relocating them.  During the groundbreaking ceremony for the project last week on Friday, five strategic partners were issued with certificates and the execution framework agreement between the state and the Department of Housing Solutions.

Genesis Housing Partners will construct 17,152 units in Lukenya and around General Motors while Estate Limited from Qatar will construct 15,000 units in Juja, Thika.  Kentec Ventures Limited will construct 53,716 units on 427 acres in Ruiru while Housing Solutions through UNOPS, which will be offering mortgages for the first time in Kenya, will construct 100,000 units.

Kenyans will buy the planned 8,888 low-cost houses between Sh1 million and Sh1.5 million.  According to Habitat heights in their off-plan price list, Kenyans will be paying Sh6, 000 for a two-bedroom unit and Sh7,600 monthly for a three-bedroom unit of 75 square meters and 95 square meters respectively.  However, social housing will be priced between Sh500,000 and Sh700,000 a unit. Meanwhile, the majority of the residents want the government to involve them in the construction of the mega project.

They said the government and its strategic partners should consider hiring locals to address the unemployment problem in the country.

They expressed their fears of being left out once the project is completed adding that they should be considered as the first housing beneficiaries.

Lukenya resident Johson Muthoka said the project will be of help to them if their views would be included during the construction.  “This project is good and beneficial but we urge the government to offer us jobs when the constructions start,” he said. Another resident Emmanuel Muthama also said the project should give residents the first priority and not to allow wealthy people to purchase the units “if it was indeed meant for the common mwananchi”.

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