Affordable Housing in Nairobi


Mukuru, Nairobi, Kenya

Posted 2020-09-06


The World Bank notes that African cities become the new home to over 40,000 people every day, many of whom find themselves without a roof over their heads. The soaring demand, however, is being met by insufficient new supply. Indeed, Africa’s housing market has few local developers with the technical and financial strength to construct large-scale projects.

Nairobi has a population of about 4 million people, with about half of this population living in informal settlements. Mukuru, situated in the city of Nairobi, is home to about 100,000 households (HH) occupying about 550 acres of land. In 2017, Nairobi City County Government designated Mukuru slums as a Special Planning Area (SPA) and structured the development of a Mukuru Integrated Development Plan to align with city’s departments, and develop inclusive and appropriate sectoral plans for land-use plan, services delivery, policy development and implementation.

94% of Mukuru land is comprised of tenants who pay a monthly rent of about Kes. 2000 (~USD20) for a 10 x 10 sq.ft. room with barely any services. The Constitution of Kenya and recent policies have all recognized the importance of affordable housing and its key role in promoting sustainable economic transformation in Kenyan cities. Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Nairobi’s master plan similarly support affordable housing, youth employment, and inclusive urban development. Developing affordable shelter for the urban poor, and thereby realizing the Constitutional right to housing, will require new forms of pro-poor shelter finance and supportive policies at the urban level.

Project focus

Working closely with Slum Dwellers International and their local partners, Muungano wa Wanavijiji and Akiba Mashinani Trust, a long-term engagement program will be initiated with a project focused on the following themes:

  1. Questions related to cost of construction
    1. What building technologies are available in Kenya today?
    2. Are these technologies affordable, safe and easy to use?
    3. Are the available building technologies and housing construction methods, efficient in terms of the use of materials, the use of labour and the use of time? How can existing construction methods and building technologies be made more efficient in terms of materials, labour and time?
  2. Questions related to financing of housing development
    1. What are the sources of and conditions for accessing affordable finance for both housing development and mortgages?
    2. What are the financing bands within the Mukuru SPA, and what housing and financial products should be developed to meet the needs of the residents in each of the identified bands?