City Hall can­cels ten­ants leases to make way for high-rise flats

Odongo says all ten­ants have been told to find other quar­ters for two years. They will be paid re­lo­ca­tion costs and rent for 24 months un­til they can re­turn to new hous­ing

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

City Hall is ter­mi­nat­ing ten­ancy agree­ments with the oc­cu­pants of its 700 houses to al­low for con­struc­tion of 100,000 high-rise units.

This comes as res­i­dents of five es­tates tar­geted for re­de­vel­op­ment de­manded a halt to the project.

They claimed there is a hid­den agenda by the county gov­ern­ment to per­ma­nently evict them. The five es­tates are Jee­van­jee, Bach­e­lor Quar­ters, Pan­gani, Old and New Ngara.

Ur­ban Re­newal ex­ec­u­tive Tom Odongo said all ten­ants have been in- formed, through their wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tions, to look for ac­com­mo­da­tion else­where for two years un­til the project is com­pleted.

“The law re­quires we give three months no­tice. But be­cause this is a con­sen­sual project, whose aim is to de­liver af­ford­able houses and pro­tect the in­ter­ests of ex­ist­ing ten­ants, we saw it fit to pay them for re­lo­ca­tion and 24 months rent,” he said.

Odongo, how­ever, said the re­lo­ca­tion and rent fees will be capped to avoid ex­ploita­tion. He said the wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tions’ of the es­tates have been asked to draft MoUs, which will be har­monised with the county’s, de­tail­ing all the agree­ments.

Odongo said the af­fected ten­ants will be given first pri­or­ity to pur­chase or rent the houses, once the project is com­pleted.

But ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence on Wednes­day, res­i­dents of five af­fected es­tates led by Ngara MCA Mwaura Chege and Jee­van­jee Wel­fare Group sec­re­tary gen­eral Leonard Obonyo said sev­eral MoUs have been cir­cu­lated to ten­ants with dif­fer­ent con­tents. ”A no­tion has been cre­ated that the ten­ants have been fully in­volved, briefed and par­tic­i­pated in the on­go­ing process, which is not true,” Chege said.

The first phase of the Sh300 bil­lion Pub­lic-Pri­vate re­de­vel­op­ment project will see more than 14,000 hous­ing units built to ac­com­mo­date 100,000 peo­ple.

/ FILE

Rail­way houses in Makon­geni, East­lands. Five es­tates – Jee­van­jee, Bach­e­lor Quar­ters, Pan­gani, Old and New Ngara – are to be de­mol­ished to al­low con­struc­tion of multi-storey apart­ments

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