225,000 registered for affordable housing, says State

A dummy of some of the houses that will be constructed under the Affordable Housing Programme (AHP). [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]
More than 225,000 Kenyans have registered to participate in the voluntary Affordable Housing Programme (AHP).

This follows the Government’s activation of the voluntary contributions established under the Affordable Housing Programme that now paves the way for savings of as little as Sh200 per month.

Under this arrangement, Kenyans are to contribute voluntarily and through statutory deductions of 1.5 per cent Housing Levy.

The High Court in Nairobi last month extended orders barring the State from implementing the 1.5 per cent housing levy on workers’ gross salary in the formal sector to allow for the consolidation of the various cases filed against the plan.

SEE ALSO :State opens up voluntary payments

The Central Organisation of Trade Union, Trade Union Congress of Kenya, Consumers Federation of Kenya, the Law Society of Kenya, the Federation of Kenyan Employers and the Kenya National Union of Nurses filed suits challenging the levy.

Through the multi-pronged contributions, the Jubilee government hopes to put up 500,000 houses by 2022 as part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four projects.

“This activation is a response to those Kenyans who have been urging us on and categorically stated, through registering on the bomayangu web platform, that they want decent and affordable homes,” said Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga Mwaura. He said those interested could do that by regularly saving in their bomayangu wallet amounts that they can afford.

“Those people and other interested Kenyans, we are now giving the ability and means to decide how and when they will start their journey towards getting a house,” said Hinga.

Huduma centres

The PS said the ministry will soon start the process of allocating 228 houses in Park Road, Nairobi that will be ready for occupation by September this year.

Kenyans are now able to register and contribute for housing through Huduma centres countrywide, through the Huduma Kenya website and also the Huduma Life mobile application.

“First line support can also be accessed through the Huduma Contact Centre and social media channels,” said the PS

The savings, the PS announced, can be made through various modes of payments that are convenient to the contributors. These avenues include payments through www.bomayangu.go.ke  where one logs in to their bomayangu account and make a contribution via M-Pesa, card payment or bank transfer.

Another option will be through Huduma Life mobile application which can be downloaded from the Android play store or through the Huduma e-commerce service which can be accessed www.hudumakenya.go.ke.

Real time

“We wish to assure Kenyans, particularly those who will make their contribution through any of these channels, that they will be able to get a notification of the fund’s confirmation of receipt of the monies paid on a real time basis. In addition, all monies paid will be credited to the contributor’s account and they will be able to see the savings made from their accounts,” the PS said.

The introduction of voluntary contributions was anchored in law after changes were made to the Housing Act to provide a mechanism for those who opt into the programme to contribute to the Housing Fund. The government targets 750,000 people under the voluntary contributions as it awaits the completion of the case on the 1.5 per cent statutory contributions.

Last month, President Kenyatta launched Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC), a financial institution with a seed capital of Sh35 billion to offer cheap mortgages as part of efforts to achieve affordable housing. 

Borrowers with a monthly income of not more than Sh150,000 per month are eligible for the loans that will be capped at Sh4 million in Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado and Sh3 million for the rest of the country. 

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Affordable Housing ProgrammeAffordable HousingHousing Levy