The Role Of National Housing Corporation In The Provision Of Housing In Kenya.
Countries a" over the world have housing problems in one form or the other. However, the magnitude, the dimension, the scope, the fundamental causes vary from country to country. Kenya, Iike other countries, has come to realise that housing is an issue that is too complex in nature and that is too central to national development to be left solely to private initiatives. As such the government is very much involved in providing solutions to the problem of housing. In this study the author hos outlined the government housing pol icy and programmes in general, and the role of the National Housing Corporation in particular from the time of its inception, that is, 1967, up to the present time. The study reveals that the government so for has undertaken a series of constructive, progressive and far-reaching actions to combat the housing problem. However, the approach to the problem has a number of glows. A housing policy that is not spelled out in specific plans and programmes by and large, tends to become just empty phrases of good intentions. Many plans falter because the policy is too ambitious, and also because the strategy devised to carry out the plan is wrong so that the money available is exhausted on the more expensive dwellings before any low-cost housing is built. One therefore finds that the housing policy tends to favour the middle and high income groups; the National Housing Corporation, therefore is involved in building symbolic housing schemes which are claimed to be low-cost housing projects but are usually quite outside the means of the very poor. A good deal of what is wrong with these low cost housing schemes lies in faulty conceptualization of realistic housing standards. In a few words, most low cost houses are too expensive for the people for whom, at least in theory, they are designed. To a large measure , this phenomenon was created during the colonial era when planning standards were introduced which did not recognize local conditions and encouraged segregation among income groups and races