President Uhuru Kenyatta will early next month unveil the first of the ambitious 500,000 affordable housing projects. The first batch of the social housing projects will be 1,600 houses at Park Road in Ngara, Nairobi.
On Sunday 26, Transport, Infrastructure and Housing Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said every step had been completed for the President to launch the first of the multi-billion shilling projects.
“We have set everything on the ground and once the President launches it, it will immediately come up, the contractor is already on site,” said Macharia.
The government had earmarked for construction up to 170,000 houses by the end of this financial year using housing tax, according to Macharia, but the court halted the deduction of 1.5 percent of the monthly basic salary. In October, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) challenged in court the government’s decision to levy workers to finance the housing project. Cotu insisted there was no public participation before the government imposed the tax under the Finance Act, 2018, making it unconstitutional. The court stopped the 1.5 per cent National Housing Development Fund. On Thursday, the High Court extended the orders, halting implementation of the proposed housing tax. The ministry had sought to raise Sh6 billion by September to put up the houses.
Macharia told Sunday Standard that all plans were in top gear to kick start the projects. “We want to move with speed and secure the houses in a short time,” said Macharia. He said there were other investors interested in putting up a similar number of houses. “We are now confident that we can even get to one million by 2022. The United Nations, Qatar and a number of local and international companies want to join in,” the CS. He said the UN and the Qataris were looking at putting up 100,000 units each.
The government has also identified lands in Mavoko and Portland in Athi River, Makongeni, Shauri Moyo and Muguga Green Fields in Nairobi.