NHC seeks Sh7bn for Athi River housing project
The National Housing Corporation (NHC) is seeking Sh7 billion from private investors to help fund, build and transfer 3,500 low-cost houses in Athi River, Machakos County.
NHC acting managing director Patrick Bucha said the deal under a Public Private Partnership model will see the corporation collect rent and pay the private financiers within a period of between 15 to 20 years.
This will allow investors to recoup their capital over the period after which the lease will terminate and ownership revert to NHC.
The corporation says the participation of private investors in housing development projects will result in faster project implementation and will inform off-plan purchases from their customers.
“We are looking for Sh7 billion through IFC under the Public Private Partnership model. Under this deal, the investor coming in through IFC will be able to finance, develop and transfer the houses to us so that he can get back his money,” Mr Bucha said in an interview on Thursday.
The houses are part of the 10,500 units at Stoni Athi Waterfront City set to be developed on a 150-acre piece of land. They are composed of one, two, and three-bedroom unit houses that come with social amenities such as roads and ample parking.
The other common facilities that will be available at the project include electricity, water, and playing areas for children. Out of the total units set to build at Stoni Waterfront City about 5,000 units will be under the State’s affordable housing plan and will cost between Sh1 million and Sh3 million.
Another 5,500 targeting middle and upper-income households will be sold at between Sh2 million and Sh8 million.
“We want a long-term kind of financing. The financier must be able to walk with us the journey up to the end of the process then he can recoup back his cash before exiting,” Mr Bucha said.
Affordable housing is one of the Big Four agenda items outlined by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the beginning of his second term in 2017.
The other sectors are manufacturing, food security, and universal health coverage.
The State is planning to team up with private investors to build more affordable units to help bridge the housing deficit.
Affordable housing programme has been receiving funding from the private sector, but it has not been adequate to help set up more units.
For instance, the number of low-cost houses built by the State rose by just 93 units last year, highlighting the challenge the Jubilee government has faced in meeting its goal of adding 500,000 units by the end of its second term.
Economic survey data shows that affordable houses that were built by State Department for Housing increased from 338 units in 2020 to 431 units last year.
The new units of affordable houses that were constructed last year now bring to 2,613 units that have been constructed by the State since 2017.