Keeping tabs on the Government’s affordable housing pledge

Housing, a real estate sub-sector is among the concern of many city and urban center dwellers and also all citizens in Kenya at large. This is due to the deficit arising from a high urbanization rate with an estimated 500,000 new city and other urban dwellers every year. In 2017 for example, the annual production of housing units was less than 50,000. The current annual deficit is estimated at about 200,000 across all income levels.

The government of Kenya, championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta has identified and prioritized housing among his re-election manifesto in the 2017 elections whereby it has been noted as one of the “Big Four” agenda to be achieved within his current second term in office. This has since seen the establishment of the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company, whose mandate will be to avail affordable mortgage finances to those looking to own homes. The real estate institution shall work closely with the banking sector and SACCOS which are the popular financial institutions in Kenya.

The President has been quoted as saying that the newly established institution will assist to drive interest rates on mortgages to single digits and also help extend tenure of housing loans to an average of 20 years up from 7 years. A newly set up website, known as BomaYangu has opened up registration to Kenyan citizens who only need to be aged over 18 years and have a national identity card.

Upon successful registration, the system would generate a unique registration number that would allow the contributor to make their monthly contribution towards the housing fund. Contributions towards the housing fund could be delivered in three categories- statutory, voluntary and spousal/joint contributions. The housing project aims to eliminate slums in Kenya taking note that 6.4 million Kenyans live in slums.

Kenyans can only hope for the best from this project even as the pressure of residing in urban centers continues to rise in the meantime even as the first of this agenda’s groundbreaking recently kicked off in the Capital, Nairobi.

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