Cytonn Real Estate, the development affiliate of Cytonn Investments handed over the keys to the buyers of The Alma Phase 1, its flagship residential development in the high growth Ruaka town. The handover ceremony was graced by former Prime Minister and African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa Hon. Raila Odinga, Kiambu Governor Hon. Ferdinand Waititu, Housing and Urban Development Permanent Secretary Charles Hinga, Kiambu County Commissioner Mr Wilson Manyanga and area MP Paul Koinange. The Alma is the most recent project to be handed over by Cytonn following last year’s completion and handing over of Amara Ridge in Karen.
In giving her opening remarks, Yvonne Ondego, a Project Management Associate at Cytonn Real Estate noted that, “Recently, comprehensive developments have been growing in popularity because they provide an enriched living environment that caters to all the needs of its residents. Proximity to key social amenities like schools, shopping malls and hospitals also elevate the living experience. The Alma is strategically located and provides for all this.”
The Alma sits on 4.7 acres and has 477 1, 2- and 3-bedroom units as well as a retail centre, nursery school, elevated playgrounds, gym, and a swimming pool where Phase 1 is 100 per cent sold out.
Cytonn Investments CEO, Edwin Dande emphasized the firm’s dedication to providing quality developments. “A lot of research went into our decision to build The Alma. Ruaka has one of the highest residential occupancies in the country. As the town grows, there is increased demand for housing with superior amenities, great finishes and strategic location. You get all of this at The Alma. The fact that all the Phase 1 homes have been sold is a testament to that,” said Edwin.
Prof Daniel Mugendi, the Chairman of Cytonn’s Board expressed his pleasure that the dream had finally come to fruition despite a challenging environment. He said, “With this milestone, we continue to demonstrate that we will go to great lengths to deliver the promises we made to our clients. The real estate sector has been impacted by a tough economy, but the different teams have rallied, and the result is evident for all to see.”
Speaking during the ceremony, Hon. Raila Odinga said “I am proud to be part of this historic moment. It gives me hope when I see people working hard to produce world-class products. It is the only way Kenya will continue to grow. There is real gain in having citizens own homes. The completion of Alma Phase 1 is an example of what we can achieve when the government and private developers work together.”
Mr Charles Hinga, the Housing and Urban Development PS congratulated Cytonn for its commitment to delivering quality housing. “As you all know, housing is a big priority for the government, and we continue to work with companies like Cytonn to achieve that goal. Our job as the government is to create a conducive environment for developers,” he said. “The Government and all subsequent players must dedicate adequate resources to building more and more homes. We can fulfil this obligation even faster if the economy grows,” he added.
In the last quarter of 2018, the government, through the State Department of Housing and Urban Development, released a Framework of Guidelines on the implementation of the affordable housing scheme in Kenya that outlines, among many others, the project’s financing, cost and design, quality and affordability as well as a clear road map for public and private-sector involvement.
Several policies and initiatives as well as strategic partners will be required to actualise this agenda. The framework recognised the need for a new approach to improve the housing conditions of ordinary Kenyans and make it a national Big 4 priority. It provides for a fundamental shift away from the direct delivery of housing to enabling the housing sector as a whole to perform better. And it is based on the premise that experience shows that people are capable of addressing their own housing needs given the right policy settings.
Kiambu Governer Hon. Ferdinand Waititu pledged his support for private public partnerships, which would develop Kiambu even further. He said, “Shelter is a basic need which is now among the priority areas of the big four agenda to provide affordable housing for all social classes. The Alma housing project has equally created employment for the locals in the supply of construction materials and in the construction process. The completion of this project has created job opportunities and places where many can call home. This is a big step towards the realization of the medium-term plans of the Vision 2030 and the Big Four Agenda pillars of affordable housing.”