CMA should either support the President’s Housing initiative or just keep off, but not kill housing initiatives.
How many Kenyans identify with this scenario?… Living in unplanned, substandard housing without reliable water and power. When it rains you have to battle mud to get home. Sewer and garbage smells. Living right next to noisy commercial activity. Insecurity. No lifestyle amenities. That is the typical residential neighborhood, especially in Nairobi Metropolitan Area.
In Part 6, I demonstrated that due to failure of our capital markets under Mr. Shamiah, developers have had to turn to private markets, with 50% of private market fundraising going to real estate.
In Part 7, I demonstrate that these developers are solving real housing problems when we partner with the government to provide comprehensive lifestyle communities, as we have shown at The Alma, a project commissioned and supported by the State Department of Housing.
To build a community with comprehensive lifestyle amenities – where you are providing, not just shelter, but also open green spaces, elevated children’s playground, a commercial center, a gym, heated swimming pool, day care, etc, you need capital for large scale developments. This capital is not available in regulated markets; hence we have turned to private markets. That is what we have done at The Alma, a Kshs. 5 billion comprehensive lifestyle development bringing 500 apartments to the market.
The Alma has primarily been financed by private markets, which CMA is attacking. CMA has already made it hostile for developers to raise funds in the regulated markets. There isn’t a single residential development I know that has been developed with CMA-regulated funds. Having failed the President’s housing agenda in the regulated markets, they should not try to introduce their regulatory rigidity into the private markets.
Developments such as The Alma are solving the housing problems we face in Nairobi. Since moving in in 2019, the residents have never known a dry tap. We are building a sewer treatment plant, treating waste, and then building a 400m storm water drainage to dispose clean treated water. You’d think a regulator would at best support or at worst keep off rather than kill a tax base, killing jobs and take us back to unplanned neighborhoods.
The current CEO, Mr. Shamiah, does not seem to understand housing, he ought to pave way for people who can develop policies that are in line with national priorities.