A multibillion-shilling housing project launched last week in Kisumu promises to address the growing demand for houses, especially among the low and middle-income earners in the lakeside city.
The ground was broken for the Makasembo Housing Estate, an affordable housing project that will replace 50-year-old council houses that sat on the 11.68-acre land.
The project, which is being implemented by LapFund, one of the oldest retirement benefits schemes in Kenya, comprises residential houses, a pre-school, landscaped gardens, communal areas, parking, high-speed lifts, a borehole and solar power.
The cleared grounds will be home to over 1,870 households in an ultramodern mixed-use development, said Ms Sellestina Kiuluku, chairperson of the LapFund Board of Trustees.
There will be 180 one-bedroom, 100 two-bedroom and 290 three-bedroom units and 544 parking spaces.
There will also be 600 two-bedroom and 700 three-bedroom units in the medium-cost range with 120 parking slots.
The starting price will be Sh1.8 million.
“This development ties into the Big Four agenda on affordable housing and creation of employment,” said Mr David Koross, the CEO of LapFund.
The retirement scheme wants to spur greater economic growth in Kisumu County, create opportunities for financiers, and offer affordable decent homes to improve the living standards of residents.
“We are looking to create employment for residents of Kisumu as we collaborate with the county government to [find] labour and raw materials locally and especially from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Ms Kiuluku.
Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who presided over the groundbreaking ceremony, lauded the project for responding to the needs of the people who have moved to towns.
“We need proper plans which have schools, health, leisure and recreational facilities. This kind of development is a good one especially for the middle-income earners,” said Mr Odinga.
The county government and development partners are building affordable houses to help locals own homes and ward off the rise of informal settlements.
Governor Anyang Nyong’o said his administration is attuned to the challenges of urbanisation.
Kisumu County is focusing on creating an enabling environment for investors who want to build affordable houses.
“We are focused on [providing] public land both in the rural and urban areas to investors for housing and settlement,” Governor Nyong’o said.