Habitat for Humanity Kenya
Habitat's work in Kenya
Kenya News and Stories
Habitat for Humanity Kenya
HFHK 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 HFHI Traditional Affiliate model and later on through housing microfinance, OVC (IDP settlement) and partnerships with financial institutions. Find out more at www.hfhkenya.or.ke.
The housing need in Kenya
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. The poor, especially children and women, elderly, people with disabilities, are worst hit. Under the new devolved government system housing delivery is the responsibility of the local (county) governments. There is a risk that lack of effective coordination and lack of technical competence at local level can 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.
How Habitat addresses the need in Kenya
Habitat Kenya engages in Housing Microfinance and Institutional Technical Assistance to financial service providers, on 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.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Kenya:
- Vulnerable groups housing
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.
- Housing resource center
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.
- Technical assistance
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.
- Volunteer engagement
Mobilizing international and local volunteers in the construction of and lobbying for affordable quality housing for vulnerable groups.
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.
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.
What you can do
You can help Kenyan families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Go to habitat.org/donate and designate your gift to Habitat Kenya.
Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Europe, Middle East and Africa or lead your own. For more information go to: habitat.org/gv
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.
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
Serge Andriamandimby, Program Manager
Main country facts: Gained independence in 1963
Population: 45 million
Urbanization: 24 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 64 years
Unemployment rate: 40 percent
Population living below poverty line: 43 percent
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Kenya
When the program started: 1982
Families served: More than 10,000
Housing Solutions: Housing microfinance, Vulnerable Groups housing, Institutional technical assistance