Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Kenya helps communities in need to build homes and build hope. Since its inception it has helped over 7,200 families in 250 communities across 9 regions. First, it served communities through HFH International Traditional Affiliate model and later on through housing microfinance, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC, IDP settlement) and partnerships with financial institutions.
The housing deficit in Kenya stood at 2 million in 2012 and continues to grow at a rate of over 200,000 units a year. There is a proliferation of informal settlements in urban areas with 60% of the population living in slums. Families live in overcrowded homes typically with only one room and no adequate ventilation. Families are at high health risk of diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections, jigger infestation,etc. The poor, especially children, women, the elderly and people with disabilities, are worst hit. Under the new devolved government system, housing delivery is the responsibility of the local (county) governments. A lack of effective coordination and technical competence at local level may stifle the provision of housing.
In addition to limited access to land (68% of Kenyans are without land documentation or tenure security) and insufficient income, lack of affordable housing finance is another limiting factor for low-income families to improve their housing conditions.
Many Kenyan families live in overcrowded homes typically with only one room and no adequate ventilation.
HFH Kenya engages in Housing Microfinance and Institutional Technical Assistance to financial service providers, building their capacity to offer viable and scalable housing microfinance products for low-income households. The project is funded by MasterCard Foundation and managed by HFHI Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance.
Modeling and testing viable, scalable and innovative housing solutions for vulnerable groups (OVC, IDP, women headed households, elderly, people with disabilities) to address housing poverty and related health issues through partnerships with NGOs, government and private sector players.
Creating a platform for generating, managing and disseminating knowledge on affordable decent housing to citizens through technology and mobile platforms in partnership with professional organisations, research and technical institutions, materials suppliers, other NGOs, government, vocational training centres etc. This will also serve as a platform for advocacy, fundraising, fostering of linkages between actors and showcasing innovations.
Providing technical assistance to key housing sector market players to enable them to better serve the low income groups with critical services beyond finance – technical institutions, material suppliers, artisans.
Promoting pro-poor housing related laws and regulations by adding HFH Kenya voice and expertise in critical issues such as land tenure, housing quality standards and construction building permits at county level. Participating in housing forums and contributing ideas, research findings and innovative models in addressing housing.
Mobilizing international and local volunteers in the construction of and lobbying for affordable quality housing for vulnerable groups.
“I am very grateful to Habitat for Humanity for enabling me to acquire a good and decent house for my family.”
-Emily Kundu | Bungoma, Kenya
Emily Kundu is a member of Nyota Njema self-help group in Bungoma County. She joined Habitat programme in April 2012 and is currently serving her third loan. With the first loan she did the foundations; with the second she built until the lintel stage; and with the third, she roofed the house and moved in, in April 2014. The loans between USD 400 and USD 1,200 were not enough, but Emily was able to invest her own income and savings.
Before she joined Habitat, Emily was living in a two roomed mud house. With Habitat’s help she applied for electricity connection and already has electricity at home. She plans to take another loan for the finishing touches – plastering, painting, a ceiling board and possibly tiles. Emily is married to Protus Kisembe. They have one child. Emily’s main source of income is cattle hawking – she buys cattle depending on available funds and sells them at a profit during market days. This is a male-dominated business, but Emily has done the trade for three years and beaten the odds through hard work and the desire to succeed. She also farms sugarcane as her alternative source of income. “I am very grateful to Habitat for Humanity for enabling me to acquire a good and decent house for my family. Surely, Habitat is fulfilling their mission of building houses, building hope,” said Emily.