Costly construction materials thorn in flesh for housing projects

By Felix Wanderi

Property developers of mega housing projects have decried high taxation of construction materials which have made affordable housing projects a pipedream.

Speaking during the Safaricom Investment Co-operative (SIC) groundbreaking ceremony for the Ksh 750 million 450 Miran Residence in Ruaka, Kiambu county, SIC  Chairman Peter Gichangi urged the government to subsidize the high costs of construction materials.

“We want to buy the housing projects at a fair price and give them out at an affordable rate to the customers,” he added, pointing out that they are committed to support the government in its ambition to release over 200,000 housing units at an affordable rate.

“In order for the government to realize affordable housing, it ought to look into how much they are taxing the construction sector,” Gichangi said. 

He went on to add that the sector also faces the problem of slow approval of proposals since there are a lot of documentation required which aren’t accessible at a central point.

“The government needs to enable the ease of processing things like approvals,” he pointed out.

Gichangi added that the county governments also haven’t fully committed to supporting housing projects and gave an example of how Kiambu county government hasn’t fully committed tosupply clean and safe drinking water to mega housing projects which prompts developers to dig boreholes.

He added that sewerage systems also need to be worked on.

SIC CEO Sarah Wahogo assured investors that the project is fully funded and will not stall.

She revealed that their prices are competitive and affordable with good returns and that all the members of the cooperative will be given discounts. She added that they are targeting all investors and have partnered with financial institutions to help investors access funds and buy the project.

The Miran Residence is a three-acre development that consists of studio apartments, studio lofts, and one, two and three-bedroom apartments that incorporate modern architecture and new consumer trends to promote a holistic lifestyle in a secure and serene environment. The prices range from Ksh 3.2 million to Ksh 6.5 million.

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