Sacco launches Sh1bn real estate scheme in Thika

What you need to know:

  • Under the scheme, members contributed Sh355,000 to acquire the land and the sacco will help them secure building loans from local lenders.

Kiambu-based Urithi Housing Cooperative Society has launched a Sh1 billion residential project in Kilimambogo on the outskirts of Thika town, targeting its 6,000 members. The venture, which will comprise 600 housing units, is funded through the society’s cash reserves, including financing from local banks.

Under the scheme, members contributed Sh355,000 to acquire the land and the sacco will help them secure building loans from local lenders.

Sacco chairman Samuel Maina told the Business Daily on phone that the project seeks to equip members with decent and affordable housing.

“The project stands on 100-acre piece of land. We started the groundwork last month and we have given the project a timeframe of two years to be complete. It will be named City Edge Project,” said Mr Maina.

He added: “Urithi Housing Co-operative Society will act as collateral to our members who want to acquire loans from the banks to develop their plots. We are in talks with Unaitas, K-Rep Bank and Equity Bank for the members to access loans.”

He said the first phase of the scheme is expected to cost Sh300 million and would be completed early next year. “The idea is to acquire more land through our members and start income generating projects that can accelerate the growth of the society,” he said.

The initiative comes at a time when saccos and lenders are targeting co-operative society members with mortgages to tap the rapid growth in the lucrative real estate sector.

Recently, Shelter Afrique said it would target housing saccos across the country to grow its share of the mortgage market. Shelter Afrique director of business development and operations, Femi Adewole, said the company is eyeing co-operatives which have acquired and allocated land to their members, but they cannot afford to develop their property.

“We have entered into deals with some saccos to finance development of decent but affordable housing for their members,” said Mr Adewole.

The financier received a Sh442 million (€3.7 million) grant from the French Development Agency in March, for lending to microfinance institutions and housing saccos, which will in turn give their members loans.

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