UNITY HOMES

A Safe and Mod­ern Com­mu­nity

Africa Outlook - - Contents - Writer: Phoebe Calver Project Man­ager: Ed­die Clin­ton

Pro­vid­ing a pro­fes­sional and at­ten­tive ser­vice

In 2013 Unity Homes was in­cor­po­rated with the mis­sion of cre­at­ing happy, beau­ti­ful com­mu­ni­ties that could pro­vide a wide ar­ray of pro­fes­sion­als and their fam­i­lies with af­ford­able, high­qual­ity homes. The Com­pany is still in its de­vel­op­men­tal stages, es­tab­lish­ing its place in the Kenyan con­struc­tion mar­ket.

“At the minute we are purely lo­cated in Kenya, but plan to be in more African coun­tries as we ex­pand in the next few years,” ex­plains John Latham, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Unity Homes. “We aren’t re­gional yet, how­ever, there are plans in mo­tion to achieve that soon; we cer­tainly do a lot of work re­gion­ally and at some point we will ex­pand our ef­forts.

“We are over­whelm­ingly driven by achiev­ing qual­ity and striv­ing to cre­ate a prod­uct that is stan­dard­ised. Since in­cep­tion we have achieved this by sell­ing rel­a­tively low-cost houses, en­sur­ing that they are high-qual­ity but at a smaller size.

“In terms of the fi­nal stan­dards that we aim to achieve, we want to pro­vide the sort of high-qual­ity that you would ex­pect to see in a Euro­pean house.”

Dur­ing the next few years the Com­pany plans to build smaller houses, and dur­ing the last few phases of its cur­rent project it has moved down from 90 square me­tres, to 80 and the next project will be 50.

“By cre­at­ing smaller square me­tres, we en­sure the price of a house is al­most di­rectly pro­por­tion­ate to the num­ber of square me­tres we work with,” ex­plains Latham. “How­ever, when you build cheaper houses, you have to sell and build twice as many and sub­se­quently act in a very sys­tem­atic man­ner.

“We have created our homes with a mod­ern fam­ily in mind and be­cause of that each home is built to ac­com­mo­date three to six peo­ple, in an en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows fam­i­lies to flour­ish.

“Each of our Unity Homes are built with high-qual­ity fit­tings as a stan­dard method of prac­tice, with all goods, fixtures and equip­ment sourced from ISO 9001 reg­is­tered sup­pli­ers and engi­neers that have strin­gent qual­ity con­trol meth­ods in place.”

Along­side the high-qual­ity and fam­ily-focused at­ti­tude, Unity Homes has built all its homes with de­signs that min­imise en­ergy and main­te­nance ex­penses for the home­owner. It has in­cor­po­rated fea­tures such as high­ef­fi­ciency light bulbs and so­lar wa­ter heat­ing-sys­tems that are fit­ted within the homes as stan­dard prac­tice.

En­vi­ron­men­tally en­gi­neered

The Com­pany’s largest project to date has in­volved it build­ing 250 houses on the El­doret Es­tate, named Unity Gar­dens.

“With thanks to this prime lo­ca­tion in El­doret, we were able to build an exclusive com­mu­nity that is sit­u­ated half­way between the air­port and the cen­tre of the main town,” adds Latham. “Our Unity Gar­dens es­tate of­fers our in­vestors the rare op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase a high-qual­ity prop­erty with a clean and se­cure ti­tle deed, lo­cated within a high-end gated com­mu­nity that pro­vides ex­cel­lent po­ten­tial for growth.”

With this type of res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try, it is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to en­sure the safety of each res­i­dent.

“Unity Gar­dens is a fully-ser­viced com­mu­nity that en­joys ex­cep­tional around-the-clock se­cu­rity,” Latham af­firms. “Cen­trally lo­cated within the es­tate there are top-class fa­cil­i­ties that in­clude a fitness cen­tre,

swim­ming pool, restau­rant, shops and recre­ational park.

“We de­cided on cre­at­ing these fa­cil­i­ties in or­der to save our res­i­dents time on driv­ing to town dur­ing their day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties, while also help­ing to pro­vide them with a re­laxed and bliss­ful set­ting to en­joy their down­time.”

At present the Com­pany is in the fi­nal stages of this de­vel­op­ment and is plan­ning to move into a new lo­ca­tion, named Tartu City where it al­ready owns land.

“First and fore­most we are a de­vel­oper, buy­ing land to bank and turn­ing it into hous­ing for the masses,” ex­plains Latham. “In Africa our plan­ning per­mis­sion re­quire­ments are far less rig­or­ous than places like the UK; we are still grow­ing very quickly as we ur­banise so there is a large scope for ac­tiv­i­ties such as ours to be successful.

“De­vel­op­ers will often come in and pur­chase around 2,000 acres, be­gin­ning by de­sign­ing and build­ing the re­quired in­fra­struc­ture such as roads, sewage and the master plan­ning that de­cides on where the houses and schools are go­ing to be placed.

“This land is then chopped up in or­der to sell onto de­vel­op­ers such as our­selves, which has hap­pened in Tartu City on the edge of Nairobi and will be our largest project to date.”

Com­mu­nity-cen­tric

With the ex­cep­tion of the CEO him­self, every­one work­ing within the Com­pany at present is Kenyan and the team tend to avoid hir­ing ex­pa­tri­ates.

The CEO con­tin­ues: “We re­quire an ex­cep­tional team around us and aim to achieve high-qual­ity with thanks to their hard work. Due to the fact that we are op­er­at­ing in a rel­a­tively young and de­vel­op­ing coun­try, we are able to achieve these high-qual­ity pro­jects on a bud­get which makes the houses a more re­al­is­tic pur­chase for our cus­tomers.

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