• Collins Ouma Agayi PhD student, Department of City and Regional Planning, Konya Technical University, Konya, Turkey
  • Özer Karakayacı Assoc Prof., Department of City and Regional Planning, Konya Technical University, Konya, Turkey



Citizens participation, housing demand, housing crisis, housing policies, informal settlements



The arrival of native African communities from rural Kenya looking for opportunities led to population growth. Nairobi, therefore, has rapidly urbanized and sprawled 18 km2, and 688 km2 in 1900, and 1963 respectively. With population growth, housing demand has surpassed supply resulting in the housing crisis. The aim of this paper is to a) examine the policy and legal efforts put forward to address the housing problem in Nairobi, b) discuss the challenges to the urban housing policies implementation efforts, and c) make suggestions based on the findings of social, economic and infrastructural impacts of the intervention measures.


The research establishes that government efforts to address the housing problem through measures like urban migration restriction, employer housing, housing schemes, slum demolitions, and slum upgrading have not been successful due to challenges of land security tenure, gaps in policy enforcement, and compliance, insufficient public participation among others.


The paper makes appropriate suggestions to reform the policy approaches by focusing not only on housing aspects but economic, and land tenure reforms, and the extent of public involvement.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study analyses secondary sources including research articles, theses, and governments whose data were collected through primary methods like interviews, field observation, and administration of questionnaires. It, therefore, limited the findings in case of Nairobi.

Practical Implications

The study contributes to recommend that provision of the basic services be carried out in the slums alongside and economic empowerment programs to relieve the residents of financial poverty. Slum upgrading programs should therefore seek to impact the socio-economic lives of the slum dwellers.


This study explores past and present efforts by different regimes and non-governmental organizations to give an answer to the housing crisis in Kenya. and the subsequent development of slums and informal settlements.

Author Biographies

Collins Ouma Agayi, PhD student, Department of City and Regional Planning, Konya Technical University, Konya, Turkey

Collins Ouma Agayi holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning degree which he was awarded by the University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, and a Master of City and Regional Planning which he received from Selcuk University in Turkey. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in city and Regional Planning at Konya Technical University in Turkey. His research interests include housing and human settlement, regional development, and rural poverty.

Özer Karakayacı, Assoc Prof., Department of City and Regional Planning, Konya Technical University, Konya, Turkey

Özer Karakayacı; (B.Arch, M.Sc., PhD.) He received his B.Arch and MSc. in City and Regional Planning from Selcuk University, Faculty of Architecture (1996-2003). He earned his PhD. degree in Regional Planning from Yildiz Technical University (2011). He is currently working as an Assoc. Prof. at Konya Technical University. Major research interests include regional planning, economic geography, social capital, industrial geography, and rural planning.


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How to Cite

Agayi, C. O., & Karakayacı, Özer. (2020). CHALLENGES TO URBAN HOUSING POLICIES IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS: THE CASE OF NAIROBI, KENYA. ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning ISSN: 2147-9380, 8, 81–101.