The government of Kenya has announced to have received US $26bn investment pledges towards the country’s low-cost housing plan. This is according to Charles Hinga, the Housing Principal Secretary.
Affording housing plan which is among President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big 4 agenda others including; manufacturing, food security and universal health care had earlier on plunged in the rocks when high court dismissed the 1.5% monthly tax levy that was imposed on workers meant to finance the housing plan.
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) had last year filed a case against the government’s proposal on the tax levy and was to commence on January 2019. However Mr Hinga said that they had reached an agreement with Cotu to drop the case and settle it outside the court.
“We had a court issues with Cotu but they have since agreed to drop the case and we will settle it outside the court, we expect the official filling either on 23 or 24 this month” said the Housing Principal Secretary.
Kenya’s housing deficit
The State department for housing and urban development has tabled regulations in parliament needed to operationalize the tax levy. Upon approval by members, Kenyan’s will start paying the tax to finance the housing projects.
“We have already defended the regulations before the Delegated Committee and now waiting for parliament to approve them. Development framework has also been approved by the cabinet,” added Mr Hinga.
According to World Bank Kenya has a deficit of 2 million housing units with 70% living in urban centre slums. In addition the country needs to build at least 250,000 units each year against the 50,000 units which are built each year in order to reduce the deficit in the next 5 years.