- Families served in 2016: 968
- When the program started: 1982
- Families served: More than 19,000
- Volunteers hosted: More than 10,000
- Housing solutions: Housing microfinance, Market development, Vulnerable Groups housing, Institutional technical assistance, Advocacy
- Population: 45.92 million
- Urbanization: 25.6 percent live in cities
- Life expectancy: 63.77 years
- Unemployment rate: 40 percent
- Population living below poverty line: 43.4 percent
Find more country facts on: CIA The World Factbook – Kenya
Habitat for Humanity Kenya
Habitat for Humanity Kenya (HFHK) helps communities in need to build homes and build hope. HFHK has assisted over 19,000 families in more that 250 communities across Kenya.This began in 1982 by building complete houses for communities in need. HFHK has since grown and now provides housing micro-finance, advocacy, market development, community development & support, and volunteer engagement.
The housing need in Kenya
The house deficit in Kenya stood at 2 million in 2012 and continues to grow at the 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 informal settlements. Families live in overcrowded homes typically with one room and no adequate ventilation. These families are at high risk of diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections and jigger infestation.
The poor, especially children and women, elderly and persons with disabilities are the most at risk. Under the new devolved government system, housing delivery is the responsibility of the county governments. Limited access to land (68 percent of Kenyans are without land documentation or tenure security), insufficient income, lack of affordable housing options are all limiting.
How Habitat addresses the need in Kenya
In the new strategic plan, HFHK is engaging with all stakeholders along the affordable housing value chain, aiming to remove constraints, drive housing quality up and housing cost down, taking into account the social and community aspects of housing in Kenya. HFHK will channel its efforts through the following programmatic lines of business.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Kenya:
- Community development and support
Through modeling and testing viable, scalable and innovative housing solutions, HFHK will work with vulnerable groups like Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Internally Displaced Persons, female-headed households, the elderly and persons with disability (PWD) to address poverty housing and health related issues through partnerships with NGOs, government and private sector players.
- Technical assistance
In the new strategic plan, the retail lending programme is transitioning to offer technical support to self-help groups (SHG) that involve savings mobilization and loans with minimal funding from HFHK. The objective behind this is to build sustainable groups that can access capacity building services from HFHK to manage their own mobilized savings towards housing. Through this technical service, HFHK is training on group formation, financial education, savings and credit management and HSS (housing support services).
- Market development
HFHK contributes to improved housing conditions by making markets function more effectively for low-income households. This is through access to appropriate services, products and financing that is responsive to their needs and capabilities. The services include market research and product development; pilot product implementation; institutional assessments, governance, financial modeling and projections; direct land tenure processing, construction assistance, and linkages to material suppliers, capacity building and certification of local builders.
- Volunteer engagement
Volunteering is at the heart of HFHK’s community building. It promotes trust and reciprocity. It encourages good citizenship and provides people with an environment where they can learn the responsibilities of community and civic involvement. HFHK offers structured volunteer programs that build on our culture of readiness to engage and help each other.
We promote 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. We participate in housing forums and contributing ideas, research findings and innovative models that address affordable housing problems.
- Affordable housing solutions hub
Through AHSH, HFHK positions itself to be one of the leading experts on affordable housing solutions by providing information, knowledge and skills on various affordable building technologies and housing solutions. The role of AHSH is to collect, organize, preserve, publish and disseminate information and knowledge of both affordable building technologies and housing delivery models.
Meet a Habitat family
Emily Kundu is a member of Nyota Njema self-help group in Bungoma County. She joined Habitat program 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 400 and 1,200 USD were not enough, but Emily was able to invest her own income and savings. With Habitat’s help she applied for electricity connection and already has electricity at home. She plans to take another loan for the plastering, painting, a ceiling board and possibly tiles. “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.
What you can do
You can help Kenyan families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Donate: Go to habitat.org/donate and designate your gift to Habitat Kenya.
Volunteer: Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Kenya or lead your own.
Tithe: Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 863300, KENYA on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709
To learn more about Habitat projects in Kenya or in other parts of the region, please contact us.
Colleen Hughes, Program Manager
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa