President William Ruto on Wednesday, March 22, revealed that the government was giving 4,000 acres of prime land for free to developers across the country for the construction of affordable housing.
Speaking during the launch of the Listing of Laptrust Imara (REIT) at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Ruto stated that the pieces of land had been donated by several county governments.
He further explained that the parcels, collectively valued between Ksh20 billion and Ksh30 billion, would be given to private investors for construction.
“We have since, as a government, made land for the construction of houses free. You do not have to pay for them.
“I want to congratulate many counties that have made close to 4,000 acres of land in very prime land in many parts of our towns worth anywhere between Ksh20 billion and Ksh30 billion,” stated Ruto.
Giving the reason for the move, the Head of State explained that the cost of land contributed to a high percentage of the amount spent during the construction of houses, which in turn discouraged investors from building affordable housing units
He noted that the issuance of free land would, therefore, allow for the construction of houses that could be bought by Kenyans at affordable prices.
“The cost of land contributed up to between 20 and 30 per cent of the cost of building a house and was an impediment to construction in the country,” the Head of State added.
Ruto also reiterated that the private developers had to use standardised materials for construction to promote the local manufacturing industry and expand mass rollouts.
“Everybody was building a designer house and you know what designer means.
“So to be able to build houses on a large scale, it became necessary to standardise all building materials from doors, windows and all the components of a house,” the President announced.
Ruto also urged those in the construction industry to take advantage of the project and make products such as doors and cement on a large scale because the government would buy from them.
“Those listening to me and are in the business now have a clear path on what you can build your business towards. You can produce in scale because we will consume.
“Our cement manufacturers, you now have 20 million bags of cement that we can consume, ten million tonnes of steel, 2 million tonnes of nails and one million standardised doors,” Ruto noted.
The affordable housing project is meant to provide Kenyans with affordable housing across the country according to Ruto.
Ruto had been launching the construction of the houses in different counties including the largest one so far in Starehe on March 6, which is expected to have 6,704 housing units. Other areas have included Nakuru, Kibera, Hom Bay, Syokimau, Shauri Moyo, and Machakos