We’ll not evict res­i­dents and give staff the houses – county

The Nairobi govern­ment plans to de­mol­ish old one-storey houses and build many multi-storey houses to ac­com­mo­date more res­i­dents and economise on space

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Nairobi - JULIUS OTIENO @juliu­so­tieno04

City Hall yes­ter­day de­nied claims it is plan­ning to evict Wood­ley res­i­dents to ac­com­mo­date its staff.

In a press con­fer­ence on Sun­day, Wood­ley Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion, led by chair­man Sam Gach­agua, ac­cused Gover­nor Evans Kidero and se­nior county of­fi­cials of il­le­gally plan­ning to evict them.

Gach­agua claimed the county is se­cretly plot­ting mass evic­tions of ten­ants to ac­com­mo­date se­nior county staff.

The res­i­dents said they have lived in the es­tate for more than 50 years and they will oppose any evic­tions.

But yes­ter­day, City Hall said the claims are un­founded.

Hous­ing ex­ec­u­tive Christo­pher Khaemba said Wood­ley is one of the es­tates tar­geted in the mul­ti­mil­lion-shilling ur­ban re­newal project in which more than 100,000 hous­ing units will be built in the city.

The project will see old one-storey houses in se­lected es­tates de­mol­ished and re­placed with multi-storey houses to ac­com­mo­date more peo­ple and economise on space.

“Those are out­ra­geous claims. In all the es­tates where we are go­ing to carry out the ex­er­cise, all the cur­rent ten­ants will be given money to rent houses else­where. And af­ter the com­ple­tion of the project, they will be the first [peo­ple] to be con­sid­ered,” he said.

There are about 3,000 hous­ing units in Wood­ley es­tate and more than 300 be­long to the county.

Gach­agua said 280 ten­ants pay rent rang­ing from Sh14,000 to Sh58,000, de­pend­ing on the size of the house, to City Hall ev­ery month.

Area MCA David Kairu said the res­i­dents’ claims are un­true.

Some peo­ple in the area are be­hind the false in­for­ma­tion to ben­e­fit po­lit­i­cally, he said.

Khaemba said the Sh300 bil­lion ur­ban re­newal project will be car­ried out in phases, with more than 14,000 hous­ing units ex­pected to be built in seven es­tates in the first phase.

The houses will be in Old Ngara, Pan­gani, Jee­van­jee-Bach­e­lors, Ngong Road, In­spec­torate Staff quar­ters, Uhuru and Suna Road es­tates.

Last year, Kidero said there are only 535 houses in the seven es­tates tar­geted in the first phase.

“These houses are very old and were con­structed hor­i­zon­tally, oc­cu­py­ing a lot of space. There is a lot of space, about 60 acres. We will use the space to con­struct 15-floor flats,” he said.

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