Seeking Towards Investing in Affordable Housing.

Have you ever asked yourself what affordable housing is? Can you spot affordable houses in your surrounding? In the lake region, many entrepreneurs opt to invest in real estates following the demand. Welcome to Winam Investment and Innovation Summit where different entrepreneurs will explore their ideas on how it works for "common mwananchi" to fall in the affordable gap.

What is the Government's take on the affordable housing?

Housing affordability as a significant societal issue calls for a more concerted response. Within the affordable housing program, the government of Kenya reportedly aims to build 1 million housing units by 2022 (out of which 800,000 will be affordable housing and 200,000 units will be social housing).

To this end, the government has also projected land for the planned housing project which will cover 7,000 acres and spread across 5 major urban areas in Kenya. Kisumu County is also among the areas to receive the new housing units, has allocated 1,000 acres of land. The question that arises from all these is, can the national and county governments across the country deliver 1 million housing units by 2022 as envisioned in the Big Four Agenda?

Local views on affordable housing

Citing recent data from Executive Director Ounga Property Agencies in Kisumu, Mr Erick Ounga, affordable house according to him is a house worth 3 million shillings. He claimed that affordability cost burdens are not limited to low income households. But is increasingly climbing up the income scale to reach more and more moderate-income households. He claimed that whatever the strategy put in place needs to include low-cost social housing, given that the poor are also entitled to adequate housing in accordance with article 43 of the constitution of Kenya.

Strategy to be used

In raising the required funding will need collaboration between the national and county governments and the private sector in order to fully realize the goal, will need sustainable funding models, along with input from multiple stakeholders and extensive planning as well. The national government, therefore, intends to offer a number of incentives, including a deduction of 5% of the cost per year for rental residential building in a planned development area.

This calls for the Kisumu county government to allocate part of the resources to housing development and also set aside land for developers willing to invest in affordable housing. According to the principal secretary, Kisumu is among 45 counties that have benefited from the grant given to the government in form of a loan by the World Bank.

In response to this, Winam Capital will closely work with the county government of Kisumu and the private sector to drive the big four agenda by helping Kisumu county leverage its resources so that it can attract more investment. Winam Capital will be holding the summit from 27th to 30th November 16, 2018.

The theme of the summit is The Lake Victoria Region: The next frontier for investment and sustainable economic development. The summit will bring together angel investors and entrepreneurs looking to invest their money in the Lake Victoria Region.

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