Waiguru hands over land, signs deal with NHC for construction of low cost housing
Kirinyaga County Governor, Anne Waiguru, has handed over the land on which affordable housing units in Kerugoya Town will be constructed. This after signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the County Government and the National Housing Corporation (NHC) who will be undertaking the project. The six-acre piece of land in Kerugoya has been set apart for the construction of 500 low-cost housing units to be built in phases. Phase one comprising of 200 units will be constructed on two acres and is expected to be completed in about a year’s time. Other phases will follow thereafter. “We are delighted to be among the counties selected by the President William Ruto for implementation of this project and we look forward to its smooth implementation so that our people can own homes,” said the governor, noting that the project will officially be launched by the President. She reiterated the county’s support for the project that she noted was a key pillar in Kenya Kwanza government.
The Council of Governors chair noted that well-designed housing development has substantial positive impact on towns as it leads to the improvement of support infrastructure and services such as access roads, water, security and other social amenities. It also increases the value of adjacent properties and attracts investments that create jobs thus lowering crime rates. Waiguru added that once the project kicks off, it will significantly increase employment opportunities for Kirinyaga people who will provide skilled and unskilled labor during the construction phases. She asked the contractor to ensure that those engaged in the project are county residents and where there are skills gap he should ensure that they are trained to deliver. Once the houses are completed, governor Waiguru said that they will be opened for purchase by the public but priority will be given to public servants serving in the county. She noted that the county has also identified more land in Wang’uru in Mwea and Sagana in Ndia for construction of more than 1,000 low cost units.
Waiguru also noted that affordable housing provides an innovative way of discouraging fragmentation of agricultural land which is under pressure from other competing activities such as residential and commercial uses. “It will therefore leave us with more land for agricultural development in our rural areas for increased food security. I am therefore appealing to our people,” said the governor. She thanked the County Assembly for enabling the allocation of land for the project. “This is a Public-Private Partnership project and appeal to the county residents to support and give a conducive working environment to the developer to ensure that the work progresses as projected. The success of this project in Kerugoya will determine whether the others will be done in Kirinyaga,” she said.
The County Assembly Deputy Speaker Jinaro Jamumo said that the people of Kirinyaga were happy about the project and hailed the cordial working relationship between the executive and the assembly which he said has led to smooth implementation of the county’s development projects. The National Housing Corporation Managing Director, David Mathu, said that Kirinyaga is the second county in which the affordable housing project has been launched and thanked governor Waiguru and people of Kirinyaga for their unwavering support for the project. NHC Board Chairman, Yusuf Chanzu, noted that the housing project is expected to achieve a multiplier effect whereby increased projection of housing units will stimulate demand and further enhance other economic and development activities, ultimately establishing sustainable and inclusive economic development within the county. Chanzu asked Waiguru to implore on other counties to support the affordable housing projects for the benefit of the people. He said the corporation is owed Ksh 2.1 billion by some of the defunct County Councils.
The site handing over was witnessed by NHC officials, members of the county assembly, officials from the national and county governments as well as member of the public.