The Unfulfilled Promise of Affordable Housing under Housing Levy

The Buxton Housing Project in Mombasa, hailed as a model affordable housing initiative, recently handed over homes to 584 buyers in Phase I. Despite the media buzz, the celebration lacked official representation, overshadowed by the plight of former tenants forcefully evicted two years prior to make way for the project.

The promise of affordable homeownership under a Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS) collapsed, as Mombasa County and Gulf Cap Real Estate favored cash buyers or those securing mortgages, leaving over 460 families displaced and disillusioned.

The partnership’s lack of transparency, with the governor withholding the list of new owners, raises concerns about the true intentions of government housing initiatives. The project’s involvement of public land without proper public participation, currently under investigation by the EACC, further muddles the narrative.

As Buxton Point offers 1,400 more units for sale, priced significantly higher than private offerings, questions arise about the government’s commitment to genuinely affordable housing. Erdemann Property Limited’s recent offering in Athi River, with lower prices and more substantial floor plans, highlights the disparity between government projects and private sector initiatives.

Taxpayers contributing to the 1.5% Housing Levy deserve clarity on whether their funds are truly addressing the housing needs of those in greatest need. With over half of Mombasa’s residents in informal settlements, the disconnect between government promises and the reality on the ground raises urgent questions about the accessibility and affordability of these housing initiatives.

The spotlight now turns to Governor Abdulswamad Nassir, especially as other old housing estates in Mombasa await redevelopment. Residents are watching closely, demanding answers on how the housing program can genuinely benefit those in dire need. The unanswered questions echo louder as housing initiatives unfold, revealing the stark disparity between promises and reality.