Kirinyaga set to become first rural county to commence construction of affordable housing project
Kirinyaga is set to become the second rural county to launch the affordable housing project for low and middle income earners. With preparations for commissioning of construction of the houses in high gear, the county government has demolished old buildings belonging to the defunct County Council of Kirinyaga to pave way for the project at Kerugoya town. The project under the Kenya Kwanza affordable housing program will be a joint venture between the county and the National Government through the National Housing Corporation. The county government will provide land for the project, offer joint technical advisory to meet the construction standards especially in the context of climate change and urban resilience; and improving design and community participation. Machakos was the first rural county to commission the housing project.
Governor Anne Waiguru said that the county will be putting up between 500 and 1000 units at Kerugoya, Sagana and Wanguru towns where demand for houses is very high. Waiguru said the affordable housing project will reduce pressure on farming land that seen more families divide their land into plots to sell to people who want spaces to build homes. The Council of Governors (CoG) Chair said the project will encourage more young people to move away from the farms to urban areas. “We want to encourage our young people to move away from the farms so that we can leave larger chunks of the land for agricultural production and they can move to the urban areas where the housing is affordable and we will then stop over subdividing our land so that we are able to produce for the industries that we envision to set up in Kirinyaga,” said Waiguru. With the Kerugoya Medical Complex set for operationalization in few weeks to come, Governor Waiguru anticipates there will be increased demand for affordable houses for medics, civil servants and other middle level income earners.
Speaking during the demolition of the old houses, County Executive Committee Member for Transport, Public Works and Housing Jared Migwi said the Kerugoya project will be put up on 6 acres of land and is expected to hold about 200 units. He said the demand for residential houses in Kirinyaga is high especially in major towns where there has been unprecedented increase in people migrating from neighbouring counties to settle in Kirinyaga. “We are pulling down these dilapidated houses to pave way for new modern and decent houses that will change the face of Kerugoya,” he said. Migwi said apart from bridging the demand and supply gap, the affordable houses with help mitigate against the high cost of living and improve the people’s standards of living. “The affordable housing project is one of the key pillars of the National Government. We will mainly be targeting the young professionals working within our urban areas because they need to have affordable and decent housing,” said Migwi. He also called on more investors and well-wishers to join hands with the county and national government in funding the project, so as to hasten the process. At Sagana, the affordable housing project will target workers at the upcoming Industrial Park.