President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday launched the construction of 8,888 houses in Mavoko, Machakos County, under the affordable housing programme, which is part of his Big Four agenda.
During the ceremony, President Kenyatta reiterated his administration’s commitment to providing affordable houses to Kenyans, saying that modern decent housing is one major facet of the nation’s prosperity.
“Kenya falls short of decent affordable houses by international parameters, but my administration is focused to partner with the private sector to address the problem. Low-cost houses should not be translated to mean cheap substandard houses but quality houses for our people,’” the President said.
President Kenyatta said the government is committed to increasing home ownership. He urged investors to use locally made raw materials to boost the country’s manufacturing industry, and give local youth jobs at construction sites.
‘’My administration will continue extending incentives, including free land, and waive some taxes to investors eyeing the housing sector to entice them into working with the government,” he added.
The first phase of the Sh50 billion project funded by the United Nations through the Habitat Heights company is expected to be completed in the next 18 months. The 77.75-acre tract is owned by UN-Habitat and had been earmarked for a UN employees’ housing scheme, but the President signed a memorandum with the UN to have the land used for the affordable housing project. The full project will comprise 972 one-bedroom units, 2,912 two-beroom units, 4,368 three-bedroom units, 60 retail shop units and other amenities.
Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that the project would be a pacesetter in ensuring the affordable housing programme succeeds.
Meanwhile, speaking during a graduation parade for National Youth Service (NYS) community health cadets at the Gilgil Training College in Nakuru, the President directed the Youth and Health ministries to enrol the graduates in medical colleges for further training. He said those eligible should be enrolled after completing their one-year mandatory service.
“I am confident that by growing a cadre of competent community health workers from NYS, this will help fill the human resource gap identified in the achievement of universal health coverage while creating job opportunities,” the President said.