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
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.
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