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Pangani estate redevelopment project pushed back amid dispute from tenants

The planned renewal of Pangani Estate by City Hall has been moved to August to give the tenants more time to relocate as well as iron out ‘contentious issues’ about the project.

The redevelopment, which was to kick off on June 1, had faced opposition by the 48 tenants of the estate who had accused Nairobi County government of engaging in ‘underhand’ tactics by giving out contracts with numerous ambiguous clauses which are skewed in favour of the developer.

Through their chairman, George Kimani, the tenants said that City Hall has failed to give out a clear road map, including timelines on how the project is to be rolled out as well as the Offer for Sale and Purchase Agreement requiring the tenants to pay a minimum of Sh212,500 upfront before occupying the would-be new houses.

There was also the contention over the Sh30,000 service charge to be paid above the Sh10,000 rent as well as the new units set to be 60 square metres as opposed to previous plan of 119 square metres.

VACATION NOTICE

Nairobi County’s former Lands ad Housing executive Charles Kerich has, however, said that the county met with the tenants last week to clear outstanding issues leading to the extension of the vacation notice period.

He said that the tenants have now been given two and half more months to relocate against the earlier one month notice which the tenants had complained was a short time.

“The tenants raised concerns about the one month notice to vacate which we have extended to two and half months. We told them that we will give them till end of July as they said they have children in school while others said they are in Ramadhan. However, some have started moving out,” said Mr Kerich.

Mr Kerich explained that City Hall officials met with the tenants where they ironed out a raft of contentious clauses in the project contracts with the two parties finding a middle ground, adding that so far 26 tenants have received the Sh600,000 cheques to facilitate relocation for the duration of the project.

FORMAL COMMUNICATION

He said the tenants raised issues about the service charge, which the county has completely removed, as well as agreeing that the tenants will form a management company, after buying the houses, that will decide how much to charge for their security, electricity, garbage collection and other costs.

“We met with the tenants on Thursday and they gave us feedback on the contract and we agreed on areas to amend which we did and gave them the new contract. As we are right now, I don’t think there are other issues unless something new comes up,” he said.

However, Mr Kimani said that the county called for a meeting where only those who had received their cheques attended.

“We have heard verbally about the new amendments but we are yet to see any formal communication to that effect about the agreed changes,” he said.

The project intends to put up 1, 500 affordable housing units in the next 24 months.