Cretum works with Sacco to provide affordable housing - CNBC Africa

Cretum works with Sacco to provide affordable housing

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

Home ownership in Kenya remains elusive to many despite the real estate sector being one of the most profitable ventures.

However, Cretum Properties Limited, a real estate firm, in conjunction with 20 Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (Sacco) are fulfilling many Kenyans' dreams of owning homes. Cretum together with the Sacco will provide affordable, accessible and secure homes for the common man.

During an interview with CNBC Africa, Mburu Mungai, chairman at Cretum Properties noted, “Last year the homeownership in Kenya stood at 50,000 houses in a market where 150,000 houses are required, so there is always a shortfall…and when we looked at it we came in to save this situation.”

(READ MORE: US firm to build affordable houses in Kenya)

A survey by the country’s central bank revealed that there were less than 20,000 mortgage loans in the country in 2013 significantly below the demand for housing units of more than 200,000 per year and growing, a fraction to that of the population of the capital city Nairobi at over four million. There is therefore an urgent need to increase the supply of new and affordable housing units.

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“The area we have come in to address is the middle class and lower class which is not being catered to and most of these are renting houses across Nairobi. We have decided to bring these cooperates together, address the issue of housing and how to mitigate the requirements that are required in this economy,” Mungai said.

Last month Cretum launched a 22.7 billion Kenya shilling project dubbed 'Green Isinya City' that will consist of office blocks, maisonette houses, schools, high-end eateries and police stations. The project will consist of 5,000 housing units.

“We started by engaging three cooperatives who we have worked with for the last three years. After that we saw that what we have sold to them is not benefiting the economy, therefore we decided to increase the number of Sacco.”

Cooperatives involved in the project include Choice Microfinance Bank, Chai Diamond Investment, Kenya Bankers Sacco, Utabibu Investment Cooperative Society, among others.

In Kenya, Sacco has been known to offer better lending rates than banks.

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