Kenya is set to benefit from a deal signed between the government of Kenya and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to deliver a total of 100,000 affordable housing units.
The affordable housing agreement between Kenya and UNOPS is part of the UN agency’s Social Impact Investment Initiative (S3i), a programme that underlines UN’s commitment to fostering innovative financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
When fully implemented, the agreement will boost Kenya’s efforts towards the realization of the ambitious affordable housing agenda as outlined in the Government’s Big 4 development blueprint by injecting 100,000 units into the market.
The signing of the deal took place on the sidelines of the ongoing 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The total estimated investments for the program of delivering affordable housing is approximately USD 13 billion.
President Kenyatta, who witnessed the signing of the deal said that his government was ready to deliver on the housing commitment without putting undue pressure on the exchequer.
“We are therefore focusing on financing and investment frameworks that will unlock private sector financing for this program,” said the President.
President Kenyatta further noted that the government was making a simultaneous investment in the housing supply chain, specifically in the manufacturing of inputs into the housing developments.
“We are embracing commercial arrangements that will incentivize the manufacturing sector to invest adequately to meet the imminent demands of the housing sector,” he added.
The Head of State expressed strong support for UNOPS’ involvement in achieving the ‘Big 4’ agenda and welcomed any other future initiatives aimed at addressing Kenya’s housing needs.
On her part, UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo applauded the agreement noting that the initiative was part of efforts to ensure that people get the opportunity to live comfortably in order to contribute to the country’s economic growth easily.
“Ensuring that people have an adequate and sanitary place to call home is a prerequisite for providing social and economic opportunities, and stimulating economic growth and development. That’s why UNOPS has made affordable housing a core focus of its Social Impact Investment Initiative. We are proud to be working with the Government of Kenya to facilitate new kinds of investment in Kenya’s affordable housing sector and to help make its housing priorities a reality,” said Ms. Faremo.
UNOPS Social Impact Investment Initiative seeks to de-risk infrastructure investment projects that will help to attract financing from the private sector.
Under the Affordable Housing Program, the Government of Kenya aims to provide half a million adequate, decent and affordable houses for its citizens by 2022.