By Obegi Malack
Mwalimu National Sacco in partnership with Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company (KMRC) has unveiled low mortgage loan facilities to give affordable housing to members.
The Sacco, which is Africa’s largest Sacco by assets, unveiled the affordable housing loan products at Mwalimu National Towers in Upper hill in a colourful event graced by Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary (CS) Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)Development and Principle Secretary (PS) State department for Housing and Urban Development Charles M. Hinga.
The minimum amount of loans to be disbursed to members will be Ksh 500, 000 while the maximum amount will be Ksh 8 million at an interest rate of 9% on reducing balance.
Speaking during the launch, Mwalimu National Sacco Chairman Joel Gachari said the mortgage loan facility will assist members acquire ready houses built across the country for a long-term loan facility repayable in up to 308 months.
He said the deal will enable the Sacco to serve as a one-stop shop able to acquire essential affordable housing mortgage loan products, buy personal assets, commercial businesses and get insurance premium financing at a competitive pricing as an ingredient to enable members own homes and acquire assets at the lowest interest rate in the market.
“This is a milestone for the Sacco membership and an ingredient for enabling our members get an increased space for growth and expansion,’’ Gachari said.
The Sacco also unveiled an asset financing loan facility and insurance premium financing to pay for insurance covers.
The National Chair noted that the interest rates and the minimum amount for affordable housing loan products are comparatively low and will go a long way in opening the space for more members who could not have afforded the expensive mortgage products from other competitors in the housing market.
The Sacco’s CEO Kenneth Odhiambo noted that with the expanding membership, the three new launched products will go a long way in changing the lives of the Sacco members by enabling them acquire the three facilities at competitive rates.
“The affordable housing mortgage loan facility for instance is at a competitive single digit pricing from a minimum loan amount of Ksh500,000 to a maximum loan of Ksh8 million,” he added.
He added that members have opportunities of getting better solutions from the Sacco that are responsive to their needs and convenience.
He noted with pride that the Sacco currently has a membership of more than 116,000 and that it is among the fastest growing Saccos in Africa.
“Our members have patronized the Saccos products and that has enabled us move to greater heights,” he said.
KMRC Chief Executive Officer Johnstone Olteti said the products will address the needs of members and improve their living standards.
He said KMRC will continue supporting Saccos and banks in finance in ensuring they provide members with required services and urged Saccos to increase KMRC financing.
Chelugui, who was the keynote speaker during the launch, lauded the Sacco for its contributions to Kenyans
He added that the Sacco’s products will enrich members and shape them for the future.
The CS said the Sacco sector is the largest in Africa hence Sacco officials must ensure they offer services that improve living standards of members and promote transparency and accountability.
“The government is committed to ensure many urban Kenyans own houses with adequate sanitations. We will turn the housing challenge into an economic activity that will create jobs to over 100,000 Kenyans in the construction and production of building materials sectors,” he revealed.
The requirement of new urban housing is estimated to be 250,000 units per year. More than 60% of urban Kenyans are living in slums without adequate sanitation, an act that undermines their dignity and exposes them to health hazards.
Out of 50,000 houses constructed, only 2% are classified as affordable houses.