Under an innovative scheme started by UN-HABITAT, a group of Kenyan low income earners last week moved a step closer to achieving their dreams of owning their own homes.
Operating as housing cooperatives, three groups with 180 members drawn from low income residential areas in Nairobi have been faithfully making monthly contributions towards getting the houses.
Under the aegis of the Kenya Women’s Land Access Trust, the cooperatives rely on UN-HABITAT as a vehicle with which they can access banks for mortgage loans for the one and two bedroom houses.
“Because of being from the low income bracket, you cannot easily access banks but if you go as a group this will make things easier for you and that is why we are supporting this initiative,” UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka told their annual meetings.
As part of implementation of the UN-HABITAT gender policy and in fulfilment of commitments to gender equality within the UN System, UN-HABITAT is supporting a range of programmes in various regions of the world.
These include so-called, Women’s Land Access Trusts which are designed to act as financial intermediary organisations between low income women’s housing cooperatives and financial institutions, governments, local authorities and others, to access housing finance and to acquire land and housing.
Last month, Mrs. Tibaijuka signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya’s Housing Finance Managing Director, Mr. Frank Ireri, that will enable the two organizations to explore opportunities for further collaboration on aspects of mutual interest in the field of affordable housing for the poor.