Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga has said the affordable housing programme being implemented by the government is key in addressing acute housing deficit facing Kenya’s urban population.
While addressing the 9th Global Affordable Housing Conference in Washington DC organized by the World Bank, Hinga said 70pct of the country’s ballooning urban population are unable to build, purchase or get a mortgage to own homes.
Nairobi for instance has 90pc of the population unable to to own a house, according to Hinga.
PS Hinga said it is only in the rural areas that the majority of Kenyans occupy their own houses with 70pc home ownership.
While debate on the proposed 3pc contribution by employees with employers matching the contribution, Hinga said the Housing Fund will make home ownership affordable through its National Tenant Purchase Scheme.
The cumulative monthly contributions are not supposed to exceed Sh5000.
“The Housing Fund will mobilize Capital, offer certainty of sales in form of an off-take undertaking to developers and provide accessible finance for home buyers through a National Tenant Purchase Scheme,” said Hinga.
The Tenant Purchase Scheme and the accompanying policies are backed to reduce the unit price of apartments from the normal market rate of Ksh 11 million to an average of Ksh 3 million.
While contributions are mandatory for the formally employed, the Government encourages those who are in the informal sector to make voluntary contributions.
The fund is also expected to boost mortgage subscription in the country which is at a paltry 27,000.
The State also provides land for the projects free of charge. So far, 42 Counties have signed agreements to avail land for the Affordable Housing Programme.
The contributions are meant to accumulate and serve as a 10 percent deposit before a contributor can become eligible to get a house through the scheme.
Those who fail to qualify will be refunded their money while contributors who do not want to purchase a house can withdraw their savings after seven years.
He said the programme has immense potential to promote economic recovery because it is linked to the Jua Kali and MSMEs.
PS Hinga added that the Government is rolling out housing projects all across the country to bridge the annual housing deficit of 250,000.