The Role of NCA in Housing in Kenya - National Construction Authority.
The construction and housing industry is a rapidly changing one. Hence, there is a need for regulation and oversight authorities to define the boundaries of the sector. With such structures in place, then the safety of houses and construction workers is enhanced among other countless benefits. In Kenya, regulation and oversight of buildings and construction sites is done by the NCA.
Image: Construction Kenya
Lots of construction workers and Kenyans actually don’t know the exact role of NCA other than demolishing illegal structures. It turns out that the agency has other key roles that are geared towards enhancing the construction industry. Well, sit back and relax, because this write-up is all about the role of NCA in housing.
What is NCA
NCA is an acronym for The National Construction Authority. The agency was constituted in the laws of Kenya under Act No.41 of 2011 to regulate, streamline and building capacity in the construction industry. The body oversees the Kenyan construction industry and coordinates the development to ensure an effective and sustainable industry. This makes sure that all the buildings in the country are fit for staying both legally and physically. Especially for the case of apartments for rent, it is prudent that the tenant and landlord be aware of the laid down legal structures.
Image: The Standard
What is the role of NCA?
Well, the Construction Authority has the following core functions:
• Promote and stimulate the development, improvement, and expansion of the construction industry
• Advise and make recommendations to the minister on matters affecting or connected with the construction industry
• Undertake or commission research into any matter relating to the construction industry
• Prescribe the qualifications or other attributes required for registration as a contractor under this act;
• Assist in the exportation of construction services connected to the construction industry
• Provide consultancy and advisory services concerning the construction industry;
• Promote and ensure quality assurance in the construction industry;
• Encourage the standardization and improvement of construction techniques and materials;
• Initiate and maintain a construction industry information system;
• Provide, promote, review and co-ordinate training programs organized by public and private accredited training centers for skilled construction workers and construction site supervisors;
• Accredit and register contractors and regulate their professional undertakings
• Accredit and certify skilled construction workers and construction site supervisors;
• Develop and publish a code of conduct for the construction industry.
How NCA has shaped the housing sector
The authority has firstly listed contractors in good standing. Genuine contractors keep you not only from fraudulent contractors, but also links you to the best-registered ones, genuine. This protects you from raw deals. A good contractor shall be able to advise on construction policies and avoid cases of future demolitions or court battles with the government.
The National Construction Authority also enables one to register as a contractor through the easy steps listed on their website. The benefits of being registered are that you can carry out transactions without any legal issues. A registered contractor also wins the confidence of their clients and attracts potential clients.
NCA’s project registration role is a vital step in streamlining the construction industry. The development of the Project Registry has so far facilitated the planning and maintenance of construction records. This in turn makes quality assurance not only easier but also a bit systematic.
The agency also conducts training periodically. According to their website, they have so far trained a total of 20,000 contractors and other construction workers in a good number of areas related to the industry. The agency cites that the course content offered in its training covers management units such as participating in procurement procedures and setting up construction companies. Technical units such as quality control, drawing, plant, equipment, specifications, and quality assurance are also taught.
The commission has a mandate of researching any matter related to the construction industry. As such, it has held several surveys since its incorporation. An example of such is the National Research Agenda Report for 2014 to 2017 which is seen as a major industry milestone. An Annual Construction Research Exhibition Conference (ACoRCE) is also held every year. It brings great minds and some leading industry experts together to discuss business development in the country.
What does the NCA red “X” sign mean?
As you know by now, the National Construction Authority performs frequent inspections of all the construction sites in the country as part of its duties that arise from the mandates listed above.
When it finds any non-compliant building to the NCA standards and regulations, then the officer will mark “X.” Well, most people can misinterpret the sign to mean the building is not safe for inhabitation and should be demolished. This is not the case for most of the buildings with the marking. If your house has the sign, then it means:
• The project has never been registered and hence you do not have a certificate of compliance
• The contractor and supervisor executing the construction are not registered
• You did not have approved structural and architectural drawings for the building
• There isn’t a signboard near the building to indicate all the professional consulates that are involved. This might include architectures, surveyors, engineers, contractors, and so forth.
• No protective gears for workers thus compromising the health and safety regulations of the agency.
• Lack of or insufficient hoarding around the site
In conclusion, the National Construction Authority has played a major role in the construction and housing industry. If all the prescribed code of ethics for a building to be set up are adhered to, then contractors will be able to run their businesses smoothly. It is also worth noting that verified NCA buildings and investments have a higher market value.
Hao Finder, being an IT and Real Estate Company established to ease Access to and Management of Housing and Accommodation. It is our moral obligation to guide you through legal procedures in the construction and real estate industry. Our solutions are geared towards consumers as well as our Real Estate partners.