Economy

Low-cost housing budget doubles to reach Sh14 bn

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Completed affordable housing project in Ngara, Nairobi on September 18, 2020. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

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Summary

  • Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said Sh13.9 billion has been set aside for the affordable units in the year starting July.
  • The Sh7 billion increase comes in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last year in office to deliver one of the Head of State’s pet projects ahead of his retirement.

The Treasury has doubled the allocation for construction of affordable houses as the State races against time to deliver the low-cost units in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last year in office.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said Sh13.9 billion has been set aside for the affordable units in the year starting July, a 100 percent jump from Sh6.9 billion in the current year.

The Sh7 billion increase comes in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last year in office to deliver one of the Head of State’s pet projects ahead of his retirement.

“Key allocation includes Sh3.5 billion to Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project – Phase II,” said Mr Yatani when he presents the country’s expenditure plan to the National Assembly yesterday.

Affordable housing is one of the Big Four agenda in Mr Kenyatta’s legacy projects ahead of the end of his term in August 2022.

The other sectors are manufacturing, food security, and universal healthcare.

Under the plan, the State estimates that it will construct 500,000 low-cost units by end of next year,

The houses under construction under this plan are in Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru, and Kisumu among other towns in the country.

Individuals looking to buy the houses must register on the BomaYangu online portal, and are required to be Kenyan citizens with proven ability to buy via a transparent and accountable manner.

The buyer must then deposit 12.5 percent of the amount based on the unit of choice.

The interested parties are also required to commit how they will finance the remaining balance — either to pay cash or mortgage.

For those who cannot afford to pay cash, the national government has negotiated a reasonable mortgage deal with various banks, where people can go and inquire for a pre-approval for the balance.

The new units come with social amenities including parking, rooftop gardens, running track, solar water heaters.