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Kenya, World Bank sign deal to boost supply of affordable housing units

Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | Kenya’s state-owned National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, on Thursday signed the financial advisory services agreement to boost the supply of affordable housing units in the east African nation.

Amena Arif, IFC country manager for East Africa and Malawi, told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that under the deal, IFC will help mobilize 7 billion shillings (about 58.4 million U.S. dollars) to fund the construction of 3,500 affordable housing units.

“We will also assist players along the housing value chain to access cheaper inputs to enable them to construct affordable houses,” Arif said.

Arif revealed that Kenya faces an annual housing deficit of between 200,000 to 250,000 units as demand for houses exceeds supply, adding that rapid urbanization is one of the factors driving the housing deficit.

Patrick Bucha, the acting managing director of NHC, said that the agreement with IFC will enable Kenya to upscale the construction of affordable housing units by leveraging on resources from the private sector.

Bucha noted that government resources are limited due to competing needs for the provision of social services such as health, water, security, and education, hence the need to rely on the private sector to fund the housing agenda.

He added that Kenya has prioritized affordable housing to cope with the growing housing deficit that has resulted in the mushrooming of informal settlements in urban areas.

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