Finally, 20,000 homes for Kenya civil servants

Civil servants homes in Ngara, Nairobi
Civil servants’ homes in Ngara, Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
Kenyan civil servants are set to benefit from the construction of 20,000 housing units through a Chinese equity fund in a public-private partnership agreement.

The recently signed deal between the Kenyan government, China Africa Development Fund (CAD-Fund), China Civil Engineering Construction Company(CCECC) and a local housing company Suraya Property Group, will kick-start the project which has delayed for three years.

According to the agreement, the national and county governments will provide land where CCECC will construct the houses being financed by CAD-Fund while Suraya Property Group will provide the design and manage the construction.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Nairobi, Suraya Group CEO Pete Muraya said that the project was targeting all job groups and that the end product would be managed by the government.

“We are addressing all types of housing where we are targeting from a million shillings or less and going all the way up to senior servants who may want a bigger stand alone house on a quarter of an acre,” Mr Muraya said.

The project which targets the disciplined forces, parastatal officials, civil servants and county government employees will help ease the the housing deficit for government employees especially in Nairobi through a tenant-purchase scheme.

While the country needs at least 200,000 new units annually, only a paltry 50,000 units are built – which has led to the high cost of housing the country.

“By freeing up land for the construction of thousands of housing units, the national and county governments will help bring the cost of owing a home down by a significant margin as well as regulate the prices in the market,” said Mr Muraya.

The project will take 18 months to complete with the initial phase scheduled to commence in February 2017 in Nairobi before being rolled out to other counties.

The CAD-Fund officially opened its offices in Nairobi after the signing of the MOU which according to the fund’s chairman Chi Jianxin, will be used as the East Africa region headquarters. It is the fourth of its kind in Africa since the inception of the fund in 2006.

The fund often finances projects by Chinese companies in Africa without traditionally holding controlling stakes in them.

Some of the projects it has financed include a hydro-power dam in Ghana, a cement plant in Limpopo South Africa and a glass factory in Ethiopia among others.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read the latest issue of Construction Business Review. Flip through the pages of the paper real-time or download a copy to read offline. Sign up for a FREE subscription to get the paper delivered to your inbox every month.