Crispino C. Ochieng



Since 1987, in Kenya, through the National Housing Corporation (NHC), an arm of the central government that delivers affordable houses, the local government embarked on the redevelopment of Pumwani the oldest surviving affordable low income housing in Nairobi. Pumwani was started in 1923 and it targeted early African immigrants to Nairobi. Currently, the old Pumwani is home to some of the city’s poorest dwellers majorities who depend on the informal sector for an income. Redevelopment was targeted at housing all the genuine dwellers. Instead delivery ended up with house types that were at first rejected by the beneficiaries.

Although the new housing was slightly of an improved physical and spatial quality it was unaffordable. Beneficiaries were required to pay an average monthly rent of US$157 for up to eighteen years towards purchase of the new house. In the beginning, some of them had declined to take position of the newly built houses. To raise the basic rent majorities of those who have since moved in have opted to rent out some of the space. To date there is still standoff with some of the houses still unoccupied. Except during the period of social survey when the beneficiaries were brought in to supply the necessary information, the entire construction process was undertaken by NHC under a turnkey project. Among other factors the construction process was at fault for it raised the costs. Also, some of the basic housing needs were not effectively looked into. There was a housing mismatch.


Housing delivery; affordability; housing needs; sustainability; actors

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