County to de­mol­ish old houses next week, build modern flats

Am­bi­tious ur­ban re­newal plan calls for new multi-storey hous­ing units and use of land on which old and di­lap­i­dated one-storey houses stand. Kidero calls it a new chap­ter

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Nairobi - JOSEPH NDUNDA @MuthuiN­dunda

The county will be­gin de­mol­ish­ing some of Nairobi’s old­est es­tates this week to pave way for con­struc­tion of 17,000 hous­ing units. The new apart­ments will be one- to three-bed­room units.

Old and di­lap­i­dated houses in Bach­e­lors (Jee­van­jee), Ngong Road, Old Ngara, Uhuru, New Ngara and Suna road es­tates will be phased out as the county launches an am­bi­tious ur­ban re­newal project. The es­tates stand on 3.5-7.6 acres.

Each acre will have eight blocks of apart­ments and sup­port ser­vices, in­clud­ing play­grounds, schools and com­mu­nity halls.

A to­tal of 2,520 hous­ing units will be built on Ngong Road Es­tate. Old Ngara and Uhuru es­tates will each have 840 hous­ing units, while New Ngara will have 1,050 units.

AF­FORD­ABLE HOUS­ING

Nairobi Gover­nor Evans Kidero has ini­ti­ated the plan for de­cent and af­ford­able houses to city res­i­dents.

The hous­ing units will be de­vel­oped through a joint ven­ture with the pri­vate sec­tor.

“My gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that these houses will be af­ford­able, es­pe­cially to the so­cial groups with the great­est need,” Kidero said.

The gover­nor said he wants to en­sure the best use of land.

Most of the es­tates are run-down and have been ne­glected for many years. The semi-derelict houses in most es­tates are sur­rounded by il­le­gal struc­tures and busi­nesses.

“What we are do­ing from next week has not been done in a long time in this city. No new public hous­ing pro­jects have been done for decades, de­spite the swell of peo­ple seek­ing eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties in the city,” Kidero said.

RIS­ING DE­MAND

The de­mand for new hous­ing in ur­ban ar­eas stands at 150,000 units an­nu­ally, he said. Only 23 per cent of the de­mand is met, mainly through pri­vate sec­tor ini­tia­tives, Kidero said.

The gover­nor said an es­ti­mated 100,000 peo­ple move from their ru­ral homes to Nairobi ev­ery year.

“We have a lot of catch­ing up to do with the needs of our peo­ple. We can­not wait fur­ther than this. Through part­ner­ships and the un­der­stand­ing of the peo­ple of Nairobi, we will move with this and open a new chap­ter for our city,” Kidero added.

/ FILE

Peo­ple walk past the rail­way hous­ings at Makon­geni in East­lands Nairobi

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