Housing is where successive generations find home; to keep healthy, protect, develop, socialize, be educated and prepare one to adulthood. Housing is basic human need. But the increasing intensity of urban growth in the face of low level of economic development in Kenya makes housing delivery for low income households challenging. Although government has taken different housing delivery options to tackle the problem. Even though different efforts have been made, yet addressing the housing needs of the poor has always been almost impossible.
Housing cooperatives as collective organizations offer several additional advantages including; useful vehicles for building community, they are used to organize slum-dwellers into collectives to obtain group credit and to build self-help housing, they provide a long term shelter with different tenure system .housing co-operative is “one stop shelter shop” by providing variety of services to their members, they facilitate mobilization of resources together from their members hence lowering the individual transaction cost, fosters collective action and self-help. It also increases the creditworthiness of a member and lastly limits or prevents speculation housing co-operative
The annual demand for affordable housing in urban towns is 150,000 units and the current annual production is 30,000 units both private and public sector creating a deficit 120,000 units yearly. However, government effort has not reversed the trend. For instance, public-private partnership build houses which consist 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 urban population cannot afford a mortgage, generally this explain why low and middle income groups have been left out in housing development and as a result slums and informal settlement will continue to increase.
Housing co-operative will be able to address issues of affordability in broad perspective; First, examining critically policies relating to housing and how they affect affordability of home ownership and rental, which no study has been done, second, housing co-operative from an institutional context, in terms of structure and process in provision of affordable housing, also there is no study which has been done, third housing co-operative historically has been fore front in fighting rights of unprivileged in the society including housing affordability problems to slum dwellers and informal settlers.
Therefore the intention is this study is to examine the role of housing co-operative in provision of affordable housing in Kenya, with the intention of assessing whether the housing needs for low income groups can be met through housing co-operative. The study will also cover the key factors affecting affordability including funding, policy and regulation, and governance issues in housing co-operative.