What you need to know:
- The project got the green light to begin construction after the Mombasa High Court in early March dismissed a case seeking to stop redevelopment of the estate.
The construction of the Sh6 billion Buxton affordable housing project in Mombasa has officially begun.
The construction works had started even before the official commissioning date, which was scheduled for May 1, the Nation has learnt.
On Saturday, officials conducted a brief ceremony to mark the beginning of the project after President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was set to break ground, skipped the ceremony due to itinerary overlap.
"We have started the project as promised. Already, the show house is complete and we are now moving forward," said Mr Suleiman Shahbal, the project developer.
The show house, a sample of how the actual units would look like when they are completed, allows potential clients to view the look-alike houses.
Mr Shahbal has promised that the 1, 900 housing units will be completed by May 2022. The project will have 600 one-bedroom units, 700 two-bedroom units and 600 three-bedroom units.
Over 3,500 jobs
According to the developer, the project will lead to the creation of more than 750 jobs directly and about 3, 000 others indirectly.
“The project will be a game-changer in the county as it will provide job opportunities to our youth. After a month we will have at least 1, 000 construction workers who will be earning a living from this project.
“Mombasa County requires at least 10 of such projects to revive the economy and create more job opportunities for the masses,” Mr Shahbal said.
Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga and Head of Presidential Delivery Unit Andrew Wakahiu during a recent inspection visit of the project termed it ‘the largest affordable housing project in the country’.
They said it’s one of the many projects under the Public-Private Partnership aimed at improving the living standards of residents and boosting the economy of the region.
Already, some call agents and sales executives for the project have been recruited after they were selected and interviewed a fortnight ago.
The project got the green light to begin construction after the Mombasa High Court in early March dismissed a case seeking to stop redevelopment of the estate.
Justice Sila Munyao said the county government had given about 502 tenants sufficient time to vacate and even volunteered to compensate them.
The project, which has been in the works since 2016, suffered a blow in October 2020 after 13 residents moved to court to stop its inauguration, saying they were protected tenants who could not be evicted by the county government.
But Justice Munyao said there was no violation of the tenants’ rights in the way they were expected to move out – dismissing their claim of being protected tenants.