By Patrick Chiriba

President William Ruto launched the construction of more than 6000 affordable housing units in Starehe, Nairobi County, on Monday.

The Starehe housing project is part of the government’s plan to construct 250,000 housing units annually to raise the country’s living standards.

The project, which also includes social halls, will be undertaken in five phases over the course of three years.

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony, President Ruto urged partners to partner with the government in the affordable housing project.

“I am encouraging other investors to step forward and partner with the government in this course,” he said.

The Head of State further stated that once complete, the project will prioritise previous owners of houses demolished to make way for the affordable units.

The project, a partnership between the government and GulfCap Africa Limited, is expected to create job opportunities for the youth and women in the construction industry and other sectors.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the implementation of affordable housing projects in the country will prioritise the youth.

In a tweet sent on Monday, the DP said jobs at construction sites will be for the local youth and contractors should not delay their pay.

Suleiman Shahbal, GulfCap Real Estate Limited chairperson, said over sh.500 million in tenders will be given to the Jua Kali sector, with at least 50% going to women.

He added: “We are grateful for the support that both the National and County Governments have extended towards this project which has also excited our local manufacturing players who will provide us with the required materials.”

The Starehe project is President Ruto’s fifth affordable housing project this year after Homabay, Ruiru, Shauri Moyo and Kibera.