Kakamega, Chinese firm ink Sh4.5bn housing deal

A section of Kakamega town.
A section of Kakamega town. PHOTO/FILE
Kakamega County has signed a Sh4.5 billion deal with Henan Guoji Development Corporation of China for the construction of 9,000 low-cost housing units.

The project, which involves construction of two and three-bedroom houses on 47 acres of land in Amalemba, is expected to partially meet the rising demand for housing in Kakamega.

The county government is expected to provide the land in exchange for undisclosed stake in the project.

The yet-to-be-named estate will be built in three phases, with phase one – comprising 3,000 two and three-bedroom houses – scheduled to begin in December. Each phase will cost Sh1.5 billion.

The houses in the first phase will be sold to civil servants.

Kakamega Land and Urban Planning executive Suleiman Sumba said: “We want to construct low-cost housing units to meet the demand by locals and professionals seeking employment. It’s our responsibility to offer accommodation for town dwellers in spite of land scarcity.”

READ: Low cost housing boom hits Kenya

Phase two will also have 3,000 units that will be sold to members of the public while the final phase, also comprising 3,000 units, will be rental houses owned by the Chinese – who will pay annual fees to the county.

Demand for housing in Kakamega has increased significantly over the past few years thanks to the town’s fast expanding middle-class population. This has seen a growing number of developers building flats to maximise on land whose prices have rocketed over the past five years.

Around Kakamega town, an acre of land that was going for Sh300,000 a few years ago has shot up to about Sh1.5 million. The high cost of land has discouraged investors from setting up big projects.

Rents in Kakamega have also gone up as tenants scramble for the few available units. A two-bedroom house in the town, for example, goes for Sh8,000-Sh15,000 per month depending on finishing and location.

A three-bedroom flat in Kakamega goes for Sh17,000-30,000 per month, while a bungalow goes for between Sh20,000 and Sh40,000 per month.

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