Housing plan unveiled for slum dwellers

# cross posted from The Daily Nation Website#

By LUCAS BARASA lbarassa@ke.nationmedia.com Posted  Tuesday, October 18  2011 at  20:03

jane weru and James Nyoro
jane weru and James Nyoro

Fredrick Onyango | NATION Ms Jane Weru, Akiba Mashinani’s executive director with Rockefeller Foundation’s managing director James Nyoro at Hotel Intercontinental on October 17, 2011 during the launch of the slum housing project.

In Summary

  • Families formed 49 groups of 40 members and raised cash for the Sh81m project

Two thousand slum families in Nairobi are expected to move into their new modern houses for which they will pay just Sh10 daily for five years.

Through the help of Rockefeller Foundation, the families organised themselves into 49 groups each made up of 40 members and saved money to buy land.

Ms Jane Weru of Akiba Mashinani Trust said Sh81 million was used to buy 23 acres in Mukuru slums for the construction of 3,000 units.

Two thousand units are to be occupied by the slum dwellers and 1,000 sold under the project dubbed Greenfield Housing Project.

“We have finished paying for the land through a Sh55 million loan from Eco Bank. We provided the families with cash guarantee of Sh24 million,” Ms Weru said during Rockeffeller centenary celebrations at Hotel Intercontinental in Nairobi on Monday evening.

The slum dwellers started raising money for the project in 2007. Each is required to pay Sh45,000 plus interest.

In Katani Slum near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, 700 dwellers have bought eight acres at Sh18 million and are hoping to build 1,000 units.

In Nakuru, 170 slum dwellers are also involved in a modern housing project.

“Our biggest hussle and challenge has been money for construction. That is why we are approaching people to finance. We have entered partnership K-Rep Bank to raise finance for mortgage,” Ms Weru said.

She said Rockefeller has similar housing projects in 38 countries including India, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa.

This comes at a time when the high cost of housing has locked out many Kenyans from home ownership.

Ms Weru who recently won an award with former US President Bill Clinton for innovations that help the poor asked Government to find solutions to problems facing Kenya’s slum dwellers.