Kisumu civil societies launch housing drive

Friday, November 29th, 2019 00:00 |
Residents demonstrate.

A group of civil society organisations in Kisumu town has launched a drive to supplement the national government’s plan for affordable houses.

The initiative, christened Grassroots Housing Cooperative Society is a product of social movement bringing together different Community Based Organisations (CBOs) within the lake side town. It seeks to provide affordable housing especially within informal settlements.

The lobby groups , led by Grassroosts Trust and Kisumu Network of Grassroots Associations (Kinga) intend to use the kitty to kick-start the project with 10 housing units by the end of next year.

Grass roosts Trust Co ordinator Lawrence Apiyo said the kitty will come from pooling resources so as bolster the government’s dream of realisation of low-cost housing. So far,  Sh1 million has been raised by the co operative movement, with the first project expected to start next month.

He said the dream of living in affordable houses has remained a major challenge to most low and middle income-earning residents dwelling in the informal setups of Kisumu town. 

“We believe the creation of this micro-finance kitty will offer a perfect opportunity for low-income earners within our informal settlements to own and live in decent homes thereby propelling the government’s plans for affording housing,” Apiyo said during the launch of the housing cooperative fund  recently.

About 65 per cent of Kisumu town residents live in informal areas, a situation which calls for the need to develop adequate and cheap housing to ease pressure on affordable houses within the low-income segments.

He urged the county governments to implement housing policies and laws that are cognisant of human rights. 

He also challenged counties to allocate adequate funds in their annual budget estimates to support affordable housing.

Kisumu is expected to benefit from construction of 2,000 new affordable homes under the government’s proposed Big Four agenda on affordable housing. 

Town  residents Nick Mac’Ondwat and Beatrice Achieng lauded the move, saying it was timely and a boon to informal settlement dwellers.

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