Kenya’s housing program to adopt World Bank’s green housing standards

Kenya’s affordable housing program will adopt the World Bank’s private sector arm, International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) green housing standards, a government official said on Tuesday.

Charles Hinga, Principal Secretary Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, told a virtual meeting that Kenya is keen to embrace low carbon housing developments in order to combat climate change.

“The minimum standard for the design of affordable, climate-friendly homes shall be IFC’s excellence in design for greater efficiencies (EDGE) green building certification program. The standard entails a 20 percent less energy, less water and less embodied energy in materials compared to a base case building as estimated within the EDGE software,” Hinga said.

Under the affordable housing program, the east African nation seeks to build 500,000 low-income housing units by the end of 2022.

Hinga said that the program was necessitated because private developers have concentrated on constructing houses for the middle and high-income segments of the population.

He observed that last week, the government signed an agreement with seven private investors to construct 130,000 affordable houses.

“The investors have committed to building houses that are environmentally friendly in order to assist Kenya to mitigate and adapt the negative effects of climate change,” he added.

According to the ministry of housing, the real estate sector has been reluctant to enter into the affordable housing space due to a myriad of challenges.

“High cost of land, as well as complex land tenure system, does not make it conducive for investors to build houses targeted at the low-income segment of the population,” Hinga said.

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