The government plans to build half a million housing units by the year 2027, with the project being funded partly by Kenyans through the housing levy. But what is the current state of the affordable housing plan?
The government plans to partner with counties and the private sector to deliver the housing units. So far, some projects have been launched in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kirinyaga, and Homabay Counties.
“We have 42,000 housing units coming up that we are going to be groundbreaking between now and end of December. The biggest one is at our site in Makongeni, it is a beautiful piece of land in Eastlands owned by the Kenya Railways Pension.” said the PS for housing, Charles Hinga at the Kenya Affordable Housing Conference in 2022.
“Digitisation will remain a priority area of focus in the ministry’s reform agenda. First order is the completion of and full deployment of the Ardhi sasa platform as we put strategies in place for a nationwide rollout “ said CS Lands Zachariah Njeru at the same forum last year.
President William Ruto says the plan involves construction of at least 200 affordable housing units in each constituency. This is expected to create jobs and maintain a steady cash flow in the economy.
According to the Housing Fund Regulations, the applicable loan thresholds for each grade of the beneficiary are:
Social housing designated for monthly income earners earning between 0 to 14,999 shillings:
-Up to 90% of the cost of the housing unit or 600,000 shillings, whichever is lower.
Low-cost housing designated for those earning between 15,000 to 49,999 shillings:
-Up to 80% of the cost of the housing unit or 1.2 million shillings, whichever is lower.
For those making between 50,000 to 149,999 shillings monthly:
-Up to 70% of the cost of the housing unit or 3 million shillings, whichever is lower.
“The houses we will build here, 40 percent will have to be in a level that the citizen that works here, in Ziwani, can afford or can maintain paying rent for or mortgage” Said president William Ruto when he launched the Soweto East Zone B Social Housing Programme in October 2022.
However, the plan has also faced some challenges, such as legal disputes and budget constraints. The Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing, and Urban Development says money collected from those registered under the Boma Yangu portal, is taken to a consolidated account and later used to pay developers who will have signed project agreements with the government and delivered the developments.
“Many people, close to 6 million Kenyans live in informal settlements or slums they live in places without water, roads, electricity, toilet facilities, dirty places, and that is why we have said we must dignify the people of kenya.” Said president Ruto.
Some of the factors that determine the eligibility and allocation of a housing unit are;
-one’s family status and other social factors, the demand across various housing categories and whether one has raised the requisite deposit.
For one to qualify for the affordable housing unit, you need to be a Kenyan, have a valid national ID and be an employee earning a minimum of KSh 10,000 per month. You should select your preferred housing unit type and location from the available options on the portal. You must wait for a lottery draw to determine if you are among the lucky beneficiaries of the housing units.
To secure a housing unit, one will need to pay a 10% deposit of the total amount. Those who fail to secure a unit during the selection process are automatically put on a waiting list and are prioritized in the next selection.
“This plan of affordable housing. Mr president, you have pressed and insisted that it is your duty as the president of Kenya to make sure that all Kenyans will get respect, dignity through ownership of a place they call home” observed Deputy president Rigathi Gachagua
So far, over 300,000 Kenyans have registered on the Boma Yangu Portal with more than 30,000 actively saving to buy the preferred affordable housing units.