President William Ruto has revealed that the government intends to increase the supply of housing units from 50,000 to 200,000 units per year.
In his speech during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, President Ruto said that the country is currently experiencing a gap of over 2 million units.
“We have equally committed to close the housing gap, which stands at 2 million units as at now. Our target is to increase the supply fourfold from 50,000 to 200,000 per year. Already, 2,592 units have been completed, 40,452 are under construction and over 500,000 units that require financial backstopping and funding for bulk infrastructure are in the pipeline,” President Ruto said.
To plug the gap, Ruto promised to work with private investors, including pension funds, who have submitted proposals on the housing projects they would like to invest in.
“It is clear from engagements with investors that the Government needs to evolve from being a mere enabler to becoming a sponsor of projects. Not only will we provide land and bulk infrastructure, but I will personally take charge of the process to unlock the challenges that inhibit investment,” he added.
Among the government interventions being put in place include VAT exemption on inputs in a bid to lower the cost of construction. The implementation has however been curtailed by delays in approving applications for VAT refunds. As a result, according to the President, developers pay VAT, but the cost saving is not enjoyed by the end buyers.
Ruto also promised to have housing inputs such as doors, windows, gates and hinges made by the jua kali industry.
“We, therefore, proceed with the confidence that we will provide quality climate-smart housing that Kenyans can buy with mortgages for as low as Ksh5,000 a month to be made available through various home financing arrangements,” added Ruto.
The programme will also target county governments to produce as many as 5,000 units per year.
“Going forward, we intend to collaborate with county governments to achieve a target of at least 5,000 units in every county. Counties with larger metropolitan areas have a greater opportunity and can target as many as 50,000 units since as demand is higher due to population density. We have asked counties to identify land for this Housing program,” said Ruto.
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