Home Equals

Habitat for Humanity Kenya is advocating for equitable access to adequate housing in informal settlements like Mukuru and Kibera Slums



Learn more about the Home Equals campaign around the world on our global Home Equals hub


Challenges Faced by Informal Settlements in Kenya

  • Homes lack access to clean water putting families at risk of life-threatening diseases.
  • Homes lack land rights thus families live in fear of eviction putting their futures on hold.
  • Homes are poorly built  in disaster-prone areas making families more vulnerable to climate change.
  • Civic participation is limited thus families struggle to have their voices heard.


Habitat for Humanity is addressing issues in informal settlements around the world. Take an in-depth look at challenges faced by people living in informal settlements


Why is Home Equals Important in Kenya

  • At the national level, equitable access to adequate housing in informal settlements can generate a direct impact of as much as 10.5% economic growth, measured as either gross domestic product or gross national income per capita. The resulting increase in living standards among residents of informal settlements, taken as a whole, is likely to exceed the cost of improving informal settlements in many countries.
  • Life expectancy could increase up to 4% for countries around the world, adding 2.4 years of life on average. More than 730,000 preventable deaths could be avoided annually, a number that is higher than eradicating malaria globally.
  • The expected years of schooling in some countries would increase by as much as 28%because of access to adequate housing in informal settlements. Globally, as many as 41.6 million additional children and young people could be enrolled in primary and secondary education because of housing improvements in informal settlements. This is equivalent to 16.1% of the total number of children and young people currently missing education. That’s 1 out of every 6 out-of-school children in the world.
  • When combining the results of the three dimensions of the Human Development Index, or HDI, — income, health and education — the modeling shows an overall impact in the human development level for countries. Providing access to adequate housing in informal settlements could lead to a jump of up to 18 places in the HDI country ranking and a change in human development level from low to medium or from high to very high.


Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Description: Mukuru is an informal settlement located approximately 7 kilometers from the Nairobi Central Business District. Most families live in makeshift structures made of corrugated iron shacks. Without secure land tenure and proper planning, the area has faced complex challenges, including a lack of access to basic services such as water and electricity, limited infrastructure, and poor drainage systems..

Key statistics

  • Mukuru is home to over 400,000 people or about 100,000 households, 94% of whom are tenants.
  • In August 2017, the county government of Nairobi declared Mukuru informal settlement a Special Planning Area, or SPA.
  • Community members participated in more than 250 neighborhood planning forums, and 114 formal consultation meetings were held during the SPA consultative process.


Policy Solutions


Empowered Participation

Create an inclusive stakeholder process that incorporates the priorities, needs, experiences and voices of individuals and their communities. Read More



Reliable and sustainable basic services

Expand and improve the provision of basic services like clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. Read more.



Climate resilience

Reduce vulnerabilities and help people adapt to climate-related hazards and threats. Read more




Secure tenure 

Prevent eviction, support renters and protect the land and property rights of women, indigenous groups and vulnerable people. Read more 



Every informal settlement is unique, so Habitat advocates for a broad range of policy solutions to fit the needs of each one. Learn about all the different policy solutions Habitat is exploring around the world


Home Equals at work in Kenya


A new twist on building

See how residents of the Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya are constructing safer, more affordable homes with innovative materials and working together to transform their community in this photo gallery.




Get Involved


Take the pledge

Sign our pledge to show your commitment to ensuring access to adequate housing and improving the lives of people in informal settlements in Kenya and around the world.


Connect with us

Get updates on Home Equal’s work in Kenya by following @hfh_kenya

See the work of Home Equals around the world on the #HomeEquals hashtag and  @HomeEquals


More resources


Improving Housing in Informal Settlements: Assessing the impacts in Human Development

What if everyone living in informal settlements gained access to adequate housing? What benefits would we see, and how would it impact a country’s economic and human development? Habitat for Humanity and the International Institute for Environment and Develop explore these questions in this report.


Learn more about the Home Equals Campaign around the world