Mombasa County Government was funded by the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, under the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP) to develop the Mombasa County Housing Policy (MCHP). For some time now, the county government of Mombasa has been grappling with Urban Renewal and Regeneration Programs which are in tandem.
The county government has targeted the old estates for development projects. In particular, housing being a devolved function and a key indicator of development and social well-being, the housing sector also contributes to economic growth and employment important for equality and social cohesion, one of the key tenets for devolved units. Currently, the demands for housing in Mombasa county stands at 25,000 housing units against the 4,000 units that are constructed annually. In the context of the consultative meeting, a panel approach was taken with preliminary highlights of the key strategies that are being employed in the MCHP vis a vis the residents opinion on the housing sector. Jointly, the participants developed an implementation matrix for the county government to inform the County Integrated Development Plan which is due for development. The developed document was later submitted to the county government Department of Land of Housing to consider its implementation.
Hakijamii held a consultative meeting with Mombasa County Civil Society Organizations and County Government Representatives. The participants were taken through various strategies that are being proposed in the MCHP in the housing sector, including; Land suitable for Housing Development, Infrastructure & Social Amenities, Mobilization of financial resources for housing, Affordable housing solutions, etc.
Some of the challenges highlighted and discussed as stated in the policy discussed in the document included:
- Access to land suitable for housing and security of tenure: The CGM has little or no vacant land reserved for future housing development since most of the public land has been allocated officially or occupied illegally.
- Lack of access to housing finance and home acquisition facilities: Investment in housing requires a large capital outlay over a long period of time.
- High cost of housing production: Housing costs include the cost of land, building materials, labor, cost of finance and taxes on real property. While all conventional building materials are available and can be readily obtained from both wholesalers and retailers in Mombasa, the cost of construction has been on the rise in the last two decades.
- Inadequate planning and ineffective regulatory mechanisms: Mombasa County has been a subject of all the National Policies and regulations affecting housing development.