- Category: News and Highlights
KIPPRA participated at the National Urban Forum organized by the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies from 19-21 March 2014. The theme of the forum was Urban Equity in Development: Cities for Life. The aim of the forum was to deliberate on and produce resolutions to inform Kenya’s position paper for the forthcoming UN-Habitat World Urban Forum (WUF7), to be held on 5-11 April 2014 in Medellin, Columbia.
Participants were drawn from the national and county governments, the private sector and civil society, among others. Some of the activities included exhibitions in which KIPPRA had a stand to disseminate publications relevant to the theme. The team also participated in the presentation forums/thematic groups related to urban housing and finance, research and capacity development, spatial planning and marginalized and vulnerable groups.
Some of the emerging issues include:
- Majority of Kenyans are low income earners, yet delivery of housing is done to the upper income groups by both the private sector and the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
- The average price of a house in Nairobi is Ksh 7 million. This is a clear indication that demand to the low income segment is almost totally neglected and action needs to be taken to close the demand and supply gap between the income groups.
- For a typical low income household with a net income of Ksh 20,000, the ideal cost of an affordable house would be approximately Ksh 700,000 on mortgage rates of 13% for typical maturity time frames. Currently, it is practically impossible for the private sector to avail such a house at that cost and rates.
- A lot of opportunities abound in urban housing and finance, some of which include the constitutional framework article 43 (b) and schedule 4, the 100% mortgage financing, vibrant stock market, introduction of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and devolution that has resulted to county governments.
- Most, if not all, County Integrated Development Plans excluded human settlements issues from their planning.
- The use of pension funds including NSSF was proposed as a radical means of availing capital for construction of housing for low income groups. The NHC was also advised to focus on low cost housing.
- It was suggested that research should be integrated with implementation while observing action planning that consumers relate to.
- The marginal and vulnerable groups’ presentation noted that most facilities; social, infrastructure and sanitation, do not take care of the disabled in the society and less is done to include the needs of the elderly in the planning process.
For more information see http://wuf7.unhabitat.org/