Manufacturers challenged to increase housing material production

Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga has challenged manufacturers to step up production outputs to meet the increasing demand brought about by affordable housing projects.

Speaking during the validation workshop for the National Housing Corporation 2023-2027 Strategic Plan in Nairobi, Hinga noted that use of locally produced materials will help in cutting the overall cost of the housing units under the Affordable Housing Programme.

He called on the manufacturers to leverage on large economies of scale as one way of bring down the cost of production, which will in return see the overall cost of constructing the units lowered.

“As Government, we shall do all that is necessary including providing infrastructure, providing land to private developers so that we are able to meet the planned units at an affordable price,” Hinga said adding that the private sector has a big role to play in actualizing the affordable housing dream.

Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga

Noting that Kenya was in the same economic league with Singapore in 1960, the PS said the reason why the Asian-tiger economy took off faster than Kenya was because of prudent planning of economic strategies, affecting all sectors of development.

NHC being the lead implementer of the affordable housing programme, the PS noted that the Corporation will receive enough financial resources to roll out the projects across the country, as well as provide additional land for the projects.

The NHC five-year Strategic Plan is anchored on five major pillars namely Housing, Financial, Estate Management, Research & Innovation and Corporate Sustainability.

Speaking at the event, NHC Managing Director QS. David Mathu noted that the Corporation plans to build over 100,000 units within a period of five years.

“The Government plans to do one million housing units by the end of the financial years 2027/2028. Of this, the Corporation will undertake to construct 110,000 housing units: 100,000 units will be under the Affordable Housing Programme, 5,000 units under the commercial band and a further 5,000 as student hostel rooms,” QS Mathu said.

National Housing Corporation Managing Director QS. David Mathu

On the research and innovation pillar, the Corporation is embracing the new built technologies in its projects that are more environmentally friendly and cost effective.

“As we embrace the digital age, it is imperative that we stay at the forefront of technological advancements. Our plan outlines specific initiatives and investments in a housing resource centre, which will be the hub of information on housing matters for scholars and researchers. This will not only keep us competitive but also pave the way for pioneering solutions.

“Moreover, sustainability is not just an aspiration; it is a responsibility we owe to the environment and future generations. The draft includes initiatives that prioritize environmentally friendly construction practices, energy efficiency, and the incorporation of green spaces into our urban developments,” he said.

NHC Board Chairman Yusuf Chanzu noted that under the Financial pillar, the Corporation will be seeking to put in place a sustainable financing model, entrench collaboration with individuals and institutions and establish a financial institution that would help it deliver low-cost housing to Kenyans.

“Under the Estate Management pillar, the Corporation will in the next five years seek to secure and conserve all its land against grabbers, offer suitable and conducive housing units, redevelop the old schemes built in the 70s and 80s and settle squatters where need be,” said Chanzu.

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