Theurban population accounts for 76% of the total world population and it isexpected to increase to 4 billion people by 2030.
(UN-Habitat 2012). More andmore towns are now getting converted into cities. This phenomenon ofurbanization has brought with it enormous challenges manifested in the acuteshortage of housing resulting to expansion of urban slums and informalsettlements, unplanned urban sprawl, environmental pollution, deterioration,deficiencies in modern basic facilities, and general urban decay. (Aluko,2010).Yet governments’ effort to provide affordable housing to the urban poorhas remain a dream to be actualized.Therapid urbanization has greatly impacted on the housing provision with thehousing sector characterized by an increasing housing demand Vis a Vis lowsupply in Kenya. For instance, 150,000 units of houses are demanded yearly andonly 30,000 units of houses are built by both private and public sector yearlyand deficit of 120,000 units needed yearly. (UN-habitat 2015) Despitenumerous efforts from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and recentgovernmental activities, the trend is yet to be reversed.
Affordabilityof housing can be argued from two tenure perspective; Home ownership policy andtenant occupant policy. Home ownership policy has been give more priority thantenant occupant policy or in some country totally ignored, this can beevidenced from the definition of affordable housing by many authors. Accordingto Bramley, 1994; Ludwig et al, (2002). Argues that affordability can bedetermined by the level and distribution of home prices, household income andthe structure of financing costs. It is noted by Sheuya, (2007) that adequatehousing finance will determine affordability of housing, because it can help toproduce the essential components of housing namely: land, on-site and off-siteinfrastructure, building materials, as well as offsetting construction costs.
Affordabilityis also perceived as related to incomes, housing costs, housing availability,employment, maintenance of the existing affordable housing stock, and patternsof new construction. Housingco-operative as third sector in provision of affordable housing has been classified into three main types ofco-operative namely; full equity, limited equity and non-equity, the first twocorrespond to owner-occupation and last correspond to renting. In a full equityco-operative, members purchases a shareequal to the value of a unit of house which give him a right for occupancy .
Whenthey leave, they can sell their share at market value. Limited-equityco-operatives that attempts a compromise between affordability and increase inmarket value, when they leave, members receives payment based on formula torevalue the original share and lastly non-equity co-operative, members areallocated homes on the need basis after paying a nominal amount for amembership share, when they leave they only get their nominal share back.(Birchall,2009)Housingco-operative also have three main tenure model. Limited housing co-operatives,acquire land and subdivide the land to the members. Multiple mortgage housingmembers owns individual units and land but common areas are owned andmaintained by co-operative; continuing housing co-operatives-co-operative ownsland, houses and common areas but members hold equal shares for all assets.
(UNCHS,1999), generally, housing co-operatives in Kenya can be described as limitedhousing cooperatives since co-operative members acquire dwellings in freeholdownership status after completion.Housingco-operative has been historically, still remains the preferred choice forprovision of affordable housing for majority of low income household globally.Understanding that affordable cooperatives have been developed under varyinghistorical circumstances provides insights on how they could play a role in thefuture supply of affordable housing. In Estonia, housing co-operatives manage60% of the country’s housing stock, while in Poland housing co-operatives own20%, and in Sweden and Norway about 18% of the total housing stock and Switzerland5% of the stock. In contrast, co-operative housing accounts for less than 1% ofall homes in the UK, Canada and the United States (Moreau and Pittini 2012).Housingco-operatives in Kenya has been referred as hybrid housing co-operative,members are able to get all the housing needs from the same co-operative for instance,acquisition of land, construction of a building and financing ‘one stop sheltershop” (Sally et al, 2007) Housing co-operative model popular in Kenya islimited equity co-operative whereby co-operative acquire and build affordablehousing after completion members are handle in all the documents of ownership.Affordabilityof housing in urban area in Kenya has gone high even those with high-income andupper middle-income cannot affordable housing without a mortgage finance. Low-incomehouseholds who constitute of 83% of people in urban area cannot afford qualityhousing.
Affordability problem is also contributed by inappropriate policiesrelating to housing, where they exist, they are not clear and poorlyimplemented, and therefore widening the gap between the stated policy andpolicy outcome, as a result low income household live in slum and informal settlement and top income and upper middle groups occupy the housing units planned for the poor.(Mitullah 1993)Recent changes in Economy Policy has ledto deregulation and liberalization, creating new opportunities and challenges for housingco-operatives particularly on governance issues. It will demand for strongaccountability and control of housing co-operative boards and managementnotonly to state bodies, but also to other stakeholders. (Mullins et al.
2012) According to Yates and Gabriel,(2006);Disney, (2006); Cairney and Boyle, (2004) argues that affordability problems isinfluenced by the level and distribution of homes prices, household income andstructure of financing Today, affordablehousing are faced with numerous challenges, such as adapting to increasingdemand for affordable housing, lack of funds, issues of governance,inappropriate policies, socio-demographic change, improving the sustainabilityof the housing stock and, the environmental quality of the neighborhoods, andcoping with unfavorable conditions in the financial and housing markets. 1.2Statement of the problem Housingis where successive generations find home; to keep healthy, protect, develop,socialize, be educated and prepare one to adulthood. Housing is basic humanneed. But no country is yet to satisfy the delivery of affordable housing tovarious socio-economic groups that make up its populace. Affordable housing hasbeen declared by international and national laws as fundamental human right.
Economicliberalization policy in Kenya enhanced the role of private housing markets andreduced the scope of public housing, with the retreat of the public sector inthe provision of affordable housing, private sector were unable to cater forhousing needs cross all income groups. Housing co-operatives gained ground asthird sector organization among urban policymakers, scholars and communityactivities.Housingcooperatives as collective organizations offer several additional advantagesincluding; useful vehicles for building community, they are used to organizeslum-dwellers into collectives to obtain group credit and to build self-helphousing, they provide a long term shelter with different tenure system .housingco-operative is “one stop shelter shop” by providing variety of services totheir members, they facilitate mobilization of resources together from theirmembers hence lowering the individual transaction cost, fosters collective actionand self-help. It also increases the creditworthiness of a member and lastlylimits or prevents speculation housing co-operativeTheannual demand for affordable housing in urban towns is 200,000 units and thecurrent annual production is 30,000 units both private and public sectorcreating a deficit 170,000 units yearly. However, government effort has notreversed the trend. For instance, public-private partnership build houses whichconsist of 80% of the new houses were for high-and upper middle-income people,while 83% of the demand is coming from low-income families and 89% of the urbanpopulation cannot afford a mortgage, generally this explain why low and middleincome groups have been left out in housing development and as a result slumsand informal settlement will continue to increase.
Thus the intention is to examine thepolicy, the structure and the role of the implementing authorities and theirstandards, with the intention of assessing whether the housing needs for lowincome groups can be met through them, or whether there is need forrestructuring and/or extending the existing systems. The investigation coversthe key agency, which implemented the UTP scheme and other institutions, whichplayed a role in establishing, developing and applying the policy.