Government Doubles Completed Affordable Housing Units

May 22, 2024

The government, through the State Department for Housing and Urban Development (SDHUD), reportedly completed 3,357 affordable housing units last year, up from 1,390 units in 2022.

According to the 2024 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the National Housing Corporation also completed 164 units, bringing the total number of completed housing units to 3,521.

“The real value of public building works completed by the SDHUD rose from Kes. 1.6 billion in 2022 to Kes. 10.9 billion in 2023. This increase was partly due to the expanded construction of residential buildings under the Affordable Housing Program (AHP), as outlined in the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Model (BETA),” stated KNBS.

The Kenya Kwanza administration aims to construct at least 1,000,000 housing units by 2027, requiring a minimum of 200,000 units to be built annually.

The Affordable Housing Act 2024, signed into law in March, is expected to bolster the government’s social housing program through a housing levy charged at 1.5% of gross salary, which will help increase the construction budget.

Government expenditure on housing is projected to rise from Kes. 10.5 billion in 2022/23 to Kes.92.5 billion in the current fiscal year.

“As a result, the value of completed residential housing units by the State Department for Housing increased from Kes.1.76 billion in 2022 to Kes.11 billion. The rise in completed buildings is partly due to the government’s focus on the Affordable Housing Programme,” the bureau stated in the report.

The increase in residential construction activity led to a 2.1% rise in public sector employment, from 9,500 to 9,700, although both unskilled and skilled workers experienced pay cuts between 2022 and 2023.

“Monthly average basic wages for unskilled and skilled workers declined by 4.5% and 10.9%, respectively, while semi-skilled workers saw a 3% increase in 2023.”

Unskilled workers’ wages dropped from an average of Kes.27,585 in 2022 to Kes.26,354 last year, while skilled workers’ wages fell from an average of Kes.49,816 to Kes.44,391 over the same period.

Only semi-skilled laborers saw their average monthly income rise, increasing to Kes.38,611 from Kes.37,486.

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