Kisii County and NHC in tussle over multi-million Housing scheme

Phase one of the National Housing Corporation houses in Nyanchwa Kisii where the County Government is claiming ownership of the land. The County has already issued a 21 days notice to all owners and tenants to vacate the houses. [Eric Abuga/Standard]

The National Housing Corporation (NHC) is fighting to save several of its houses built on a disputed piece of land which the county government wants to repossess.

Those who had purchased the houses now live in fear of losing them should the county government make good its threat to take over the land.

The first phase of the NHC scheme has 40 completed units, some of which have been bought.

Purchasers for the two bed-roomed houses paid between Sh4 million and Sh4.5 million while units Phase Two are being sold at Sh4.2 million.

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One of the buyers who did not want to be named told The Standard that he will pay more than Sh15 million for three units in the first scheme.

“It is unfortunate that some of these things are happening in our country. It is sad that it is the Government fighting its people because of the mistake committed by its officers,” he said.

In a public notice signed on June 14, 2019, by Deputy County Secretary Robert Ombasa, all tenants, owners and any other occupants of NHC phase one and two at Nyanchwa are ordered to vacate the houses within 21 days.

The notice further states that the houses were irregularly constructed on county government public land.

“The houses have been built contrary to section 30 (1) of the Physical Planning Act 286 of the laws of Kenya,” reads the notice.

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According to Mr Ombasa, there were a number of issues that remained unresolved.

“NHC never acquired the land properly. They have continued to collect rent even from other houses around that area without our permission,” he said.

NHC Secretary letter

County Lands and Physical Planning Executive Member John Billy Momanyi confirmed that the county was in the process of repossessing the said piece of land.

“This is just the beginning. We want to repossesses all public land that belongs to the county government,” he said.

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However, a letter signed on June 17, 2019, by NHC Secretary William Keitany, said the State firm developed the two schemes as part of the its statutory mandate and offered the flats to Kenyans on tenant-purchase arrangement.

“The public notice issued by the county government seeks to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of the premises by our legal tenant purchasers,” said Mr Keitany.

Further the letter reads: “All our tenant purchasers are advised to ignore and treat the public notice with the contempt it deserves as the same is of no consequence in law or at all.”

Kisii Land Registrar Steve Mokaya promised to give detailed information once he scrutinised the documents on the said land.

Phase One of the scheme involved the allottees occupying the houses and the monthly payments made goes to redeeming the sale price over an agreed period and interest rate. 

The property in such a scheme is owned by NHC until the sale price is fully paid. The occupant is therefore a tenant and also a purchaser at the same time.

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NHCKisumu CountyHousing scheme