State targets 7,000 acres for plan

The Government plans to set aside 7,000 acres for its affordable housing programme.

The National Treasury says in its Draft Budget Policy Statement that as at December 2018, the national government had signed agreements with 36 county governments to extend the project to the counties.

“Under these agreements, the county governments are expected to provide land while the national government will provide infrastructures such as power, water, and roads,” says Treasury.

Through the affordable housing project, the Government plans to put up at least 500,000 houses by 2022.

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“The Government intends to begin with Park Road, Shauri Moyo and Starehe in Nairobi, Mavoko in Machakos and Kiambu, with the groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for early 2019,” said Treasury.

To finance the project, the Government is engaging the private sector and development partners and in September last year signed a deal with United Nations Office for Project services to deliver 100,000 affordable housing units.

The plan has, however, come under criticism from employers and a majority of Kenyans, with some arguing that the 1.5 per cent housing tax for the salaried worker to go towards the initiative amounts to double taxation.

Last week, the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspended the formation of an advisory board to run and manage the housing fund.

This could further delay the ambitious project that is one of the pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.

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The project, which was scheduled to begin in June last year, was initially delayed by what State officials said was the complex planning and logistics arrangements.

It ran into headwinds last month when the Employment and Labour Relations Court temporarily suspended the implementation of the 1.5 per cent housing tax, arguing that it was unconstitutional and amounted to double taxation.

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Government7000 acresDraft Budget PolicyEmployment and Labour Relations Court