An enabling policy, legal and regulatory environment is critical to the achievement of affordable housing.
Obviously, the policy and regulatory environment is only but one of the various factors that affect the housing market. Other relevant factors include market conditions, socio-political conditions, and environmental factors.
To ensure delivery of green affordable housing, there must be a healthy and functioning housing market brought about through addressing supply side and demand side constraints.
Against this contextual background, FSD Kenya, undertook a study of the entire legal, policy and institutional framework on affordable housing in Kenya with a view to ascertaining the status of the legal landscape and highlighting any areas for policy and regulatory reform.
The report from this study is divided into four key value chains of the housing sector: Land assembly, acquisition, title, and registration; Physical Planning; Construction and Maintenance; Financing (investment, rental and taxation).
The study reviewed about 140 laws (both current and pending), policies and regulations as well as 48 court cases, all of which illuminated the state of the area as well as the pain points that are hindering the delivery of affordable housing.
A general and important finding of the study is that there is a multiplicity of policies, laws and institutions/agencies, charged with different functions, in each link of the housing value chain which unnecessarily lengthen and complicate the housing delivery process, increase costs and risks, thereby deterring investment in housing.
Further, the report points out a need for better coordination among the various national and county government departments to enable faster and more cost-effective approvals for housing related activities. There is also need to provide support to and implement current policies and laws that remain unimplemented; and ensure current housing-related data is provided and easily accessible to the market.
A number of high level and detailed findings and recommendations are provided in the study report, to form a basis for further stakeholder discussions and action. Importantly, the study report is circulated and shared as a “Draft for Comments”.
Accordingly, this document is meant to invite discussions, comments, and debate among relevant stakeholders and determine priority areas of focus as Kenya seeks to achieve its affordable housing agenda. The most critical recommendation from the review is the development of a comprehensive Housing Act that allows better coordination of the sector, integrates consumer protection and promotes data collection for market transparency.