Could shipping containers be the answer to Agenda Four’s affordable housing project?

Affordable container home
Affordable Container Home

While Kenya has seen a considerable rise in the luxury and upscale residential housing, there remains a shortage of affordable dwellings across many parts of the country. The demand for affordable housing is predicted to increase over the next couple of years as echoed in Jubilee’s Big Four agenda.

The Big Four agenda, which is slated to be President Uhuru Kenyatta primary focus during his second and last term in office, rests on four pillars namely:

•    Manufacturing

•    Universal Healthcare

•    Affordable Housing

•    Food Security

affordable container housing
affordable home bedroom

Thus far, for Agenda Four, the government of Kenya has allocated Sh6.5 billion ($65 million) to be utilized towards the delivery of affordable housing. The provision of affordable housing is critical both morally and fiscally, and more active involvement from the government is just the first of many steps that need to be taken.

The next part involves finding new and unique ways to deal with the affordable housing crisis, and innovative companies such as Ishibox Limited are stepping in with one powerful solution — shipping containers.

shipping containers for affordable housing
Aerial view of shipping containers at a port

Are shipping containers the answer to Agenda Four’s affordable housing project?

Housing affordability issues in Kenya and the rest of the world has resulted in people searching for fresh and reasonable ways to construct homes. To that end, pioneering architects and engineers are now repurposing shipping containers and turning them into low-cost housing solutions. This is to alleviate the housing shortage currently being experienced all over the world.

Eco-friendly and affordable, shipping container homes are gaining popularity as the number one alternative to brick and mortar housing. Although building using shipping containers is not entirely a new concept, it has only recently become mainstream and trendy.

Unsurprisingly, most local governments are still newly exposed to this housing phenomenon but government-driven projects such as Agenda Four, however, are just the thing to help interject them into the process.

Shipping Container Hostel
Sea container hostel

Container homes are increasingly becoming the stopgap solution to Kenya’s affordable housing crisis. These homes can and will provide temporary relief to anyone looking for public housing or affordable homes that they can own.

And they will also be ideal for any investor or landlord looking to build residential apartments inexpensively. Shipping containers are already being used popularly and successfully in many parts of the world such as Britain, Netherlands, Hong Kong — and there is really no reason why Kenya should be left behind.

cheap house plan
Cheap container house

Why Kenyans should consider shipping container homes as a great alternative

  • Affordability
  • Green
  • Fast Turnaround Time
  • Creativity
  • Durable
  • Portable

Finding the perfect home can be an exciting and rewarding adventure. But more often than not, it is typically characterized by challenges, some of which can be extremely hard to deal with. Finding a property that looks and feels great, all while being affordable, is easier said than done.

Rather than take the traditional route of building a traditional mortar home, companies like Ishibox Limited are stepping in to offer an alternate solution with shipping container homes.

40 ft container for affordable housing in Kenya
Rearview of a container home

Many shipping containers find themselves on a one-way trip originating from China to the rest of the world. These containers are only ever used for shipping before they are retired for storage purposes or portable City Council business premises. 

Used containers can be obtained for cheap. So it is not surprising that industry professionals like Ishibox consider containers the future of homebuilding. Here is why:-


Shipping containers are affordable with second-hand ones available for less than most necessary construction materials. As such, containers are practical structures available, and there are thousands of them lying around waiting to be utilized in one way or another.

With a little imagination, inspiration and of course professional assistance, containers can be transformed easily into a desirable and dare we say luxurious space for a modern family.

Affordable container homes


When you opt to go the shipping container way, you are essentially going green. You are taking an existing entity that would have otherwise sat uselessly in some yard and recycling it. In their essence, containers are considered a waste because they are not in short supply.

By relieving the world of container waste through repurposing them for homes, pools, playgrounds, warehouses, and even hospitals, you are contributing to the preservation of the environment.

Containers for affordable housing in Kenya
Cargo containers for recycling


The speed at which a container home can be constructed is considerably faster compared to any other construction method. Hence, a simple container home can be constructed in a matter of a few weeks where sufficient manpower is employed.

Alternatively, a complex home, such as your luxury dream home, can be completed, buffed and polished within a year.

arc welding shipping container

Creativity in Affordable Housing in Kenya

Nothing can give you the freedom of creativity and individual interior and exterior design expression that you long for quite like constructing a shipping container home. 

So this means that with shipping container homes, you can implement practically any design that you envision for your home. Which is different from traditional spaces that only tend to be modified and updated to lesser degrees. If you want a home that will stand out, a container home is the way to go.

shipping container bedroom


Shipping containers are fashioned from steel and are created to endure the rigorous journeys of the high seas. Because they are designed to last for years, shipping container homes require a lot less maintenance than your traditional house. Their durability is also what makes them great for areas that are prone to natural disasters and fires.

Durable shipping containers
containers at a port


Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of shipping container homes is that they are portable. Shipping container homes can easily be delivered to a location of your choice whenever you decide that you need a change of scenery. Their unique sizes make them easy to carry using trucks and trailers- no fuss, no muss.

shipping containers transported
Portability of shipping containers

Read more:

How Do You Build A Low-cost House?

Cheap House Plans To Build In Kenya


As housing prices continue to increase, shipping containers have become an innovative and sustainable solution for affordable housing in Kenya. For Agenda Four to work, the government needs to find ways to partner with construction companies that are offering shipping container homes as solutions.

The inability to acquire land at a price that allows developers to deliver housing at affordable rates remains one of the main challenges. Shipping containers can step in to alleviate the problem.