FROM NACHU NATIONAL CHAIRMAN
I'am delighted to celebrate the inauguration of this important, and, in my opinion, very magnificent building. On behalf the NACHU Board, management and staff, I extend a very warm gratitude to all our stakeholders for their support. Investments such as this are a sign of confidence in the knowhow and expertise of our staff, and a call for continued excellence in our core business. This event is more than opening a building. It marks the beginning of a fresh phase, an expansion of facilities and intensification of efforts to render services to Kenyans. This building embodies innovation, which is the core of our business.
This is where the groundwork will be laid for transforming people’s lives through provision of affordable housing across the country. Indeed, the development of this Plaza bears a strong resemblance to the transformation of the Union over the past 32 years. From humble beginning as an NGO, NACHU has grown from its initial mandate of providing technical services, mainly architectural and quantity surveying, establishing itself as a leader in the provision of affordable housing solutions
As we share the joy of inaugurating the Union’s new home, we also embrace the shared vision and commitment by the Government of Kenya social programmes to promote long-term economic development for Kenyan citizens through its Big Four agenda: Provision of affordable housing, universal health coverage, enhancing manufacturing, and food security and nutrition.
NACHU has positioned itself in the delivery of the Big 4 Agenda directly in affordable housing, and indirectly among the other agendas. Already, over 2,400 units are at planning stage as flagship projects on this initiative. NACHU is cognizant of the reality that the housing deficit in Kenya requires a fundamental change in solutions approach. The housing deficit in urban areas has been on an increasing trend due to high population growth and the rural-urban immigration at the rate of 2.6 percent and 4.3 percent respectively, compared to a global average rate of 1.2 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. This has resulted in increased housing demand and created a deficit of more than two million housing stock. Housing ownership has faced a number of challenges in Kenya, key among them include:
• Low income levels and majority of Kenyans working in the informal sector. • Restrictive mortgage policy coupled with lack of long term funding in the market to match long term mortgage tenure.
• High cost of land, lack of affordable houses, high cost building materials, high incidental costs, and lack of housing infrastructure in areas where households have bought land.
• Poor saving culture among Kenyan households. The National savings per household stood at 12 percent of the GDP against the projected 20 percent of the GDP that is necessary for health economic growth. The Asian economic power houses of Malaysia and Singapore was 40 percent of their GDP.
• Poor Investment culture among Kenyan households. Kenya investment is currently at 20 percent of the GDP against 25 percent of the GDP needed for prudent growth and development.
The Kenya government recognises the critical role the co-operative movement plays in pursuit of the country’s social and economic frontiers, which are rapid economic growth, equitable and sustainable development. The Kenya government policy on housing has challenged the cooperative movement to deliver 25 percent of all housing stock in the country. It’s on this background that NACHU aims to act as an intermediary in strategic partnership across the co-operative movement aimed at accelerating the construction, production and commercialisation of affordable housing at large scale.
Already co-operatives have bought huge parcels of land in strategic areas. However, these co-operatives owned land are facing inadequate housing infrastructure such as roads, water, sewer lines and electricity. One of the major key initiatives to unlock housing in the Big 4 Agenda lies in the Government supplying off-site infrastructure to support house development in these areas. As the Union for housing co-operatives,
NACHU is mapping out these areas to negotiate with the Government for provision of required infrastructure. NACHU and its affiliates have housed thousands of low and middle income households in Kenya. These include youth in boda-boda housing co-operatives in Kitengela and Nanyuki towns. NACHU has provided affordable shelter to women and youth members doing business in the informal sectors and who previously lived in Kibera and Mukuru kwa Njenga slums in Nairobi County; Kwa Ronda in Nakuru; Nyalenda slum in Kisumu County; upgrading houses in Bombo Mkuzi and Kizimani in Mombasa; and teachers housing in Kakamega town. In conclusion,
I thank everyone who participated in the implementation of this enormous project: the builders, engineers, architects and members of staff. I recognise our financier – the Cooperative Bank of Kenya – for supporting this project to its conclusion. I will not forget the housing co- operatives and membership for their great financial support.
To our strategic investor who have been working with us in a spirit of constructive partnership, I wish also to extend our appreciation to The National Council for Ushirika Day Celebrations for agreeing to include the inauguration of NACHU Plaza in this year events. Finally, I wish the current and potential occupants of the Building all the best. Long live the cooperative movement