Benchmark housing project for proper success- Government told

Username Investments Limited won an award for Best Land Investment Company during the 26th Homes Expo. From L-R: Ronald Kemei, Marketing Executive, Elvis Bwire, Marketing Executive, Susan Wambui, Communications Executive, Maureen Mutahi, Marketing Manager, Joseph Gitonga, Head of Marketing and Sales, Reuben Kimani, CEO and Founder, Username Investments and Julius Karanja, Head of Finance and Customer Service.

Real estate investment firm-Username now wants the government to consider Inclusionary Zoning as part of their strategy to offer affordable homes to all Kenyans.

Speaking during the 26th Kenyans Homes Expo, the firms Chief executive Reuben Kimani said it was time the government considered borrowing housing ideas from states which have been successful in ending their housing crises.

“It is possible to borrow from Maryland’s Inclusionary Zoning model, which has helped the state reduce homelessness to less than 3,000 people. To make affordable housing, which is part of the Big Four Agenda a reality, policymakers will have to enact a Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit Program, which would require developers of mass housing units to incorporate a percentage of low-cost housing in their projects.”

Kimani was referring to a 1974 housing law that was passed by the County of Montgomery, in Maryland, where builders asking for permits, site plan approvals, and sub-divisional approvals to create more than 50 housing units, would have to ensure 15 percent of the units were low-cost.

The current housing shortage in the country stands at 2 million units. The proposed housing agenda is set to create 500,000 low-income housing units by 2022, which still leaves a deficit of one and a half million housing units.

He said that incentives such as density bonuses, lower land rates, tax relief, and provision of alternative low-cost building materials in addition to the buy-back proposal made by Housing Principal Secretary, Charles Mwaura need to be adopted if the project is to be successful.

The current housing shortage in the country stands at 2 million units. The proposed housing agenda is set to create 500,000 low-income housing units by 2022, which still leaves a deficit of one and a half million housing units.

The Kenyan Homes Expo provides a platform for Kenyans to access Real Estate investment opportunities. The expo makes it possible for property buyers to interact with realtors, construction contractors and developers, thus demystifying the real estate industry. This year’s first expo, whose theme was Affordable Living, was held between the 12th and 15th of April.

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Muhatia
Trust is my currency, biscuits are my best snacks. A business story by me that has sparked change, informed and made a positive difference is what makes me going. I yearn to achieve more through writing Reach me via editor@biznews.co.ke