More than a thousand households residing in government-owned houses along Jogoo Road in Nairobi find themselves facing an uncertain future. A recent directive issued by Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga has ordered occupants of various estates, including Jogoo Road Phase I & II, Jamaa, Mbotela, Ahero, and Mawenzi Gardens, to vacate their homes to make way for an affordable housing project under the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) as part of the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

These houses, built in phases since the 1980s, have been allocated to government employees based on need, job group, and departmental availability. Most occupants belong to mid to lower job groups, earning a monthly house allowance ranging from Sh3,000 to Sh10,000. The rents for these government quarters range from Sh4,500 for a one-bedroom to Sh7,000 for a two-bedroom unit.

However, the impending eviction has stirred significant unrest among the tenants. Many perceive the demolition of these houses to construct new ones as a wasteful endeavor. Kennedy Ochuodho, the welfare chairman of Jogoo Road Phase II government quarters, expressed concern over the abrupt notice, emphasizing its adverse impact on the affected families. He urged the government to reconsider the timelines for the eviction, citing the need for more time to prepare for the transition.

Lilly Ambitho, the secretary of Jogoo Road estate phase, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the potential repercussions of the eviction on the tenants’ well-being and productivity. She emphasized the likelihood of a decline in work efficiency and an increase in health complications due to the stress induced by the looming eviction.

Residents fear the disruption caused by the eviction, pointing out the contradiction in the government’s actions, which allow no mid-year transfers for students under the Nemis system but are now displacing families abruptly. The government’s previous plans to demolish houses in other estates like Eastleigh, Shauri Moyo, and Bahati have not materialized, leaving residents skeptical about the proposed redevelopment.

Some tenants remain unaware of the directive, while others occupy recently renovated flats, raising questions about the value of taxpayers’ money spent on these renovations. Faced with uncertainty, residents plan to discuss petitioning the government for a more accommodating approach. Legal action remains a last resort if negotiations fail to yield satisfactory outcomes.

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