Women and Housing in the City of Nairobi: Constraints and Opportunities

  • Fredrick Okoth Okaka Department of Social Sciences, University College of Education
  • Dorothy N. Mutisya Department of Geography, Kenyatta University


This paper examines women and housing in Kenya’s urban areas. It specifically addresses the constraints and opportunities that, if explored, could enhance women’s chances of accessing owner-occupied housing in the city of Nairobi. Primary data was collected through questionnaires. The questionnaires targeted two groups of women, namely renters and owner-occupiers. A total of 90 women were interviewed, comprising 45 renters and 45 owner-occupiers. Simple descriptive statistics and Chi-square analysis were performed on the data. The findings of the study showed that women faced constraints of a financial (41.2%), institutional (36.6%), cultural (18.9%) and occupational (3.3%) nature in their efforts to secure their own housing. The study demonstrates that the best opportunities for women to acquire house ownership were through self-help groups, cooperative societies, and women’s finance trusts. The study recommends that the government, NGOs, and other stakeholders in the housing sector support and initiate programmes and activities aimed at increasing women’s access to house ownership, especially in an urban setting such as Nairobi City where the majority of women live in a situation of insecure housing tenancy

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