Ruto to launch construction of affordable houses in Homa Bay

President William Ruto acknowledges greetings from members of the public in Homa Bay town

President William Ruto acknowledges greetings from members of the public in Homa Bay town on October 2, 2022. President William Ruto’s plan to launch the affordable housing project in Homa Bay County appears set after the identification of a parcel of land to commission the mega project.

Photo credit: PSCU

The government has handed over an 11-acre tract to a contractor to build affordable houses in Homa Bay town.

Lands and Housing Cabinet Secretary Zakariah Njeru handed over the site in Makongeni estate ahead of a groundbreaking ceremony to be presided over by President William Ruto later this month.

Building affordable houses is one of the priorities of President Ruto’s government.

Other national government projects in Homa County include setting up a non-motorised transport system from the Kodoyo junction to Makongeni and building a fish market.

Mr Njeru, who was hosted by Governor Gladys Wanga on Thursday, said work on the houses should begin before December 1.

During his visit to Homa Bay town last month, Dr Ruto said his government will put up 5,000 units in Homa Bay County.

He said Homa Bay town suffers from a housing deficit.

A majority of residents live in houses made from iron sheets.

The National Housing Corporation (NHC) signed an agreement with the county government to undertake the work.

The houses will be put up in phases. Some 110 units will be built in the first phase that will take 12 months.

It includes 40 two-bedroom houses, 40 one-bedroom and 30 studios.

The apartment blocks will be four-storey buildings.

"We have the drawings and construction should start soon," Mr Njeru said.

At the site, the contractor, Ernie Campbell Company Limited, will put up a Level Three health centre.

Ms Wanga said the town is already served by a teaching and referral hospital and the planned health centre will boost health services.

"We have a sewerage system already in place. What we are left with is water supply," she said.

She asked the state to set up a fire station as part of the project funded by the national government.

Other proposals for the site include putting up commercial property to serve future residents and others.

A school for early learning already sits nearby.

Housing Principal Secretary-nominee Charles Hinga proposed that the project use clean energy by tapping solar power and harvesting rainwater that will be stored underground.

"Homa Bay should compete globally. But the project should be within the estimated cost," he said.

Mr Njeru and Ms Wanga presided over the event where the site was handed over to Ernie Campbell and Company Managing Director Gopal Vagjini.

Ms Wanga urged the contractor to recruit labourers from among Homa Bay residents.

She said the project will uplift the living conditions of residents and help address the housing shortage in the town.

She added that her government will ensure residents get priority when the new houses are allocated, with each family only allowed to acquire one unit.

“In some places, some people buy multiple houses and lease them to others at high prices. This will not happen in Homa Bay,” she said.

The project will offer job opportunities to youths in Homa Bay County, she said, urging the contractor to use local materials and labour.

“Homa Bay has sand and other building materials that can be used in the project. We also have artisans who can make good windows and doors that can be used in the project,” she said.

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