The nature of rental housing in Kenya
Mwangi, Isaac Karanja
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Both the urban population and the number of towns in Kenya have increased enormously over the last 35 years. (However, housing production has remained far below the targets in the five-year national development plans and even further below actual demand for housing. Most of the urban population, especially low-income households, cannot afford to buy or build their own homes and, as a result, most of the housing in towns is rental housing. The rental housing sector is a complex one involving many actors. Tenants' rights are poorly respected, especially in the informal settlements that provide most of the accommodation to low-income renters. Housing and environmental standards in these settlements are extremely low. Through three case studies, this paper explores some of the issues involved and puts forward proposals for a new policy on rental housing.