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Public housing policy and the plight of small households in urban Kenya: a case study of Nairobi public housing.

The conventional approach to the housing problem, the country's housing policies and the binding minimum acceptable housing in urban areas in Kenya do not necessarily work for the betterment of all households standards of living - small households in particular. Furthermore, the determination of housing demand and target housing groups purely on the basis of income, hence, affordability, with little or no reference to other qualitative measures such as household size and composition, individual preferences, space requirements, suitability and convenience to the user is detrimental to the achievement of the government's prime object of adequately housing everybody. Households' housing needs and aspirations are not similar as it is assumed by the grouping of such households in income groups. The present urban housing policies and programme have very little link between demography, sociological factors and housing provision in the formulation of the housing programme. This work sets out to discuss explicitly the underlying social implications of Kenya's urban housing policies on small households and the fate of such small households in the face of the government's housing priorities and pattern of housing development in the urban areas. The study covers Nairobi city. In the study, attempts are made to establish the inter-relationships between the country's political economic set up as they shape the housing policies and the influence of such policies on the overall performance and distribution of public housing in urban Kenya. The main focus of the study is on the need to house small households in urban Kenya. A thorough analysis of Kenya's urban housing policies and programme and their impact on the housing needs of small households is done with a view of subsequently intermarrying the housing needs of small households with the overall housing programme in urban Kenya.