Housing is a fundamental human need that provides a sense of security and comfort. However, the high cost of housing has been a long-standing challenge for many Kenyans, particularly those living in urban areas. The government and other stakeholders have attempted to address the issue of affordable housing, but is it a myth or a reality? In this article, we’ll explore the current state of affordable housing in Kenya and the challenges that need to be overcome.
Introduction: The Importance of Affordable Housing in Kenya
Kenya has experienced rapid urbanization in recent years, leading to a high demand for affordable housing. The cost of living in cities has risen, and many Kenyans cannot afford decent housing. The shortage of affordable housing in Kenya is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. This article examines the current state of affordable housing in Kenya and whether it’s a myth or a reality.
The Current State of Affordable Housing in Kenya
Housing Shortage: A Major Challenge Kenya is facing a significant housing shortage, especially in urban areas. According to the National Housing Corporation (NHC), the country has a housing deficit of 2 million units. The housing shortage is caused by the rapid urbanization rate, high population growth, and poor planning. The current supply of affordable housing is limited, making it difficult for low and middle-income earners to own a home.
High Cost of Housing: An Impediment to Affordable Housing The high cost of housing is a significant challenge for most Kenyans. The high cost of land, building materials, and labor contribute to the overall high cost of housing. The cost of land in urban areas is particularly high, making it difficult for developers to build affordable houses. The cost of building materials such as cement, steel, and roofing materials is also high, contributing to the overall high cost of housing.
Lack of Access to Financing: A Major Hurdle Access to financing is another significant challenge that most Kenyans face. Most financial institutions require collateral, which many people do not have. This makes it difficult for low and middle-income earners to access financing for affordable housing. The high-interest rates on loans also make it unaffordable for most people.
Government Efforts to Address Affordable Housing
The government has recognized the need to address the issue of affordable housing in Kenya. In 2017, the government launched the Big Four Agenda, which includes the provision of affordable housing. The government aims to build 500,000 affordable houses by 2022. The government has also introduced various incentives to encourage developers to invest in affordable housing, including:
- Reducing corporate tax for developers who build at least 100 affordable houses per year
- Exempting stamp duty for first-time homebuyers purchasing houses worth up to Kshs 4 million
- Reducing VAT on construction materials
Private Sector Efforts to Address Affordable Housing
The private sector has also recognized the need to address the issue of affordable housing in Kenya. Some developers have embarked on affordable housing projects targeting low and middle-income earners. However, the high cost of land and building materials is still a challenge for developers.
FAQs About Affordable Housing in Kenya
What is considered affordable housing in Kenya? Affordable housing in Kenya is housing that is accessible and affordable to low and middle-income earners.
What are the main challenges facing affordable housing in Kenya? The main challenges facing affordable housing in Kenya include housing shortage, high cost of housing, lack of access to financing, and lack of proper planning.
What incentives has the government introduced to encourage affordable housing in Kenya? The government has introduced various incentives, including the reduction of corporate tax for developers who build at least 100 affordable houses per year, exemption of stamp duty for first-time homebuyers