Ruto asks House to pass law to unlock cheap housing in towns
President William Ruto yesterday asked Parliament to pass the Housing Fund Bill to enable his administration offer mortgages to many people in informal settlements.
The President, who spoke while presiding over the ground-breaking ceremony for an affordable housing project at Mukuru kwa Reuben in Nairobi county, said that once in place, the fund would allow Kenyans to own homes by paying monthly mortgages as low as Sh5,000.
He maintained that the plan was achievable and offered a cheaper option for future homeowners compared to renting. “We will be proposing the establishment of the Housing Fund that is going to underpin our housing programme. It is something we should have done in 2018. With it, we will be able to construct houses for people from all parts of the country, no matter the divide they voted for,” he said.
According to Ruto, Kenyans who acquire bed-sitters will only be required to pay Sh3,000 as mortgage; Sh5,000 for those who acquire a one bedroom house and Sh6,500 for those who acquire a two-bedroom house.
“ Our plan is that no one will ever again be required to pay money to go to the toilet. We want our people to own decent homes with all the necessary amenities,” he said. He added that his administration is keen on ensuring that land is available for construction of houses.
“We will work on provision of land for affordable land, both public and private. We will provide access to affordable and stable financing for those engaged in social affordable housing across the country,” he stated.
“These two measures will allow us to make mass housing production and thereby shape our approach to urban development and spatial planning. Unlike before, we will deliver sustainable human settlement,” Ruto added.
The Head of State insisted that the plans would help address the endemic issue of urban settlement in Nairobi and Mombasa.
To reduce on cost, Ruto said the State Department of Housing will soon introduce a standardised formula for the construction.
There will be a standardized formula for doors, windows and hinges, thus saving money that will be used to construct more houses.
The project in Mukuru has a unique background as the 55 acres of land worth over Sh5 billion had been grabbed before being recovered by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. The land belonged to the Meteorological Department and was grabbed 24 years ago. Upon recovery, the State turned it into public land, where 15,000 housing units will be set up.
Principal Secretary for Housing and Urban Planning, Charles Hinga, in December 2021 said the government had already moved to the site and construction work had started.
The EACC recovered the land that is worth more than Ksh5 billion in August 2020.