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Nairobi landlords protest cheap housing projects by government

Landlords in Nairobi are up in arms over various affordable housing projects unveiled in the city by the Chinese in partnership with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

The local developers argued that some of the projects, particularly those by foreign nationals, were substandard and circumvented Kenyan laws.

The National Construction Authority (NCA) was faulted for failing to regulate the construction industry. It provides licenses and inspects the construction of building in Kenya.

Projects from China are reportedly conducted under a relatively low budget and are time efficient, with most foreign companies currently building skyscrapers in the city’s posh suburbs.

The areas include Westlands, Upperhill, and Athi River in Machakos County.

China allegedly benefits from the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) toll model signed between the China and Kenya governments.

The model saw China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) contracted to construct the Sh65 billion Nairobi Expressway, where motorists will be paying a toll fee to the firm to use the road.

The good working relationship between the two governments has seen most Chinese real estate companies get housing deals in the city, irking the local developers.

Speaking with a local daily, Tim Kipchumba, a private developer, said that there should be a need for local content regulation, arguing that foreign projects were not censored and were being given the upper hand.

This is pure corruption,” James Munene, a private surveyor, noted, adding that the foreign companies are doing shady deals and only bribe officials for approvals at the City Hall, Nairobi.

However, the State Department for Housing and Urban Development boss Charles Hinga countered the claims and noted that they have never received any complaint of such degree.

He, however, asked all players to provide quality affordable houses for Kenyans.

In an announcement in local dailies on Friday, January 8, 2021, NMS disclosed that it had kicked off plans to construct affordable houses in several estates in Nairobi.

The estates include Maringo, Ziwani, Embakasi, Bahati, Kariobangi North, Ziwani, Jericho, Lumumba, California, Bondeni, and Woodley Estate.

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