Shelter Afrique’s big idea to boost Kenya’s low cost housing market

Shelter Afrique MD James Mugerwa. Photo/File

Shelter Afrique MD James Mugerwa. Photo/File

Pan-African housing financier Shelter Afrique is seeking to partner with landowners in a bid to develop houses for the middle and low income earners, in a move aimed to meet the rising demand for affordable housing.

The Nairobi-based firm, which has been championing the development of low-cost housing in the country, reckons that the high-end market is saturated and developers should now focus on low-end market where demand is still heavy.

“The impression is that the market is saturated, and that is only true for the top tier of the market. We still have a long way to go to providing affordable housing,” said the company’s managing director James Mugerwa.

“Housing is currently overpriced and suits the top tier but neglects middle to low-income earners,” Mr Mugerwa said, adding that the government should give incentives to developers to put up affordable housing developments.

Shelter Afrique last year broke ground on a number of housing projects that will add at least 1,000 low cost homes into the market. Some of these units will be sold for about Sh1.6 million.

Joint ventures are becoming a popular way to fund large-scale real-estate projects and investors are actively partnering with landowners, mainly those owning prime plots, to put up mass housing.

Last October, HF Group entered into a joint venture with the Kakamega County government to build 1,000 houses for civil servants.

The firm has in the past entered into partnerships with landlords to put up projects such as Precious Gardens in Riruta, Nairobi.

Cytonn Investments has also entered into three separate joint ventures to put up properties in Rwaka, Athi River and Rongai.

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