Principal Secretary (PS) of Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga has defended the housing levy, arguing that it aims to provide housing to millions of people who lack the means to build, purchase or secure a mortgage for their own homes.
The PS said in Nairobi, one of Africa’s most developed cities, 90 percent of the population lack the means to own homes, leaving the dream of homeownership far from reality for the majority.
Hinga revealed that out of an adult population exceeding 24 million, a mere 27,000 have mortgage accounts, further highlighting that it is primarily in rural areas where 70 percent of Kenyans own their homes.
He noted that through the Tenant Purchase Scheme, Kenya managed to reduce the average price of apartments from Ksh11,000,000 to Ksh3,000,000.
The PS further explained that less than 80,000 formally employed Kenyans earn salaries capable of servicing a mortgage.
He said that to make housing more accessible, the government has initiated partnerships with private sector developers and provided land for projects free of charge.
“At least 42 counties signed agreements to offer land for the Affordable Housing Programme (AHP),” he said, further highlighting that both employees and employers were mandated to contribute 3 percent of their salaries, not exceeding Ksh5000 monthly, towards the Fund.
He stressed the programme’s potential to stimulate economic recovery, particularly for the informal sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Hinga revealed the government has embarked on the construction of housing projects across the nation so as to bridge the annual housing deficit of 250,000 units.
By Viola Chepkemoi
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