The Standard: Residents living in houses that sit on land earmarked for the Sh300 billion Urban Renewal Project will be given money for alternative housing.

Governor Evans Kidero’s office yesterday indicated that the residents currently living in the seven estates, among them Old Ngara and Pangani, would not only be given a chance to choose where to move to but also be given the opportunity to own the houses once completed.

County Director of Communication Walter Mong’are also said the relocation process would be humane and through consensus between the county, residents and the developers. Through the renewal programme in partnership with the private sector, the county government aims to build 14,000 units in the first phase.
The project has failed to kick off for almost a year as the county management defended it against reports that it was a “pipe dream”. “It is not late for this project. Not only are we aiming to increase residential units but also business premises. We have 800,000 graduates coming to the city every year to look for jobs and start enterprises,” said Mr Mong’are.

STEM SHORTAGE

In the second phase, Eastlands will see 100,000 apartments with one, two and three bedrooms put up. This is to stem a shortage of 500,000 units in the county against its population of four million. According to the plan, the 24-storey Fort Jesus (Old Ngara) estate will be transformed to have 120 three-bedroom units, 480 with two bedrooms and 240 one-bedroom apartments. Ngong Road estate will be transformed into 360 three-bedroom units, 1,440 two-bedroomed and 720 with one bedroom.
Other estates to be worked on are Pangani and Uhuru. Suna market will be renovated. Older estates such as Bahati, Mbotela, Ziwani, Makongeni, Kaloleni, Jericho and Shauri Moyo, will be demolished and redeveloped to accommodate more home buyers. “No tenant should be afraid of being thrown out. They will be given cash bails to rent houses somewhere else while the project is ongoing,” said Mong’are.

He said already, all the relevant partners had agreed to the terms of contracts with the county. The county will provide land and let the private developers build the houses and recoup their investment before transferring them back to the county. “We are cognisant that only 19 per cent of our budget goes to development so we really need such partnerships to make progress,” said Mong’are. Some of the partners include Equity and Kenya Commercial banks

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