There will be a lottery to allocate Govt.-built houses to Kenyans, PS says on Housing Levy

HOUSING PS CHARLES HINGA [PHOTO | COURTESY]

Housing principal secretary Charles Hinga says Kenyans will be subjected to a sweepstake in order to identify beneficiaries of the government-built houses.

Speaking on Citizen Television’s “Newsnight” on Tuesday, April 23, Mr Hinga said the government intends to build 500, 000 units of houses by 2022. The house count is way lower than the three million Kenyans who are in formal employment and would be required to contribute a mandatory monthly pay toward the housing levy. In one year, estimates showed that the State would be collecting at least Ksh57 billion annually from Kenyans contributing to the kitty.

To illustrate how the programme would work, PS Hinga said Kenyans would be pooled into a raffle and winners would be given government-built houses.

“… you need to register, start contributing and then there are different criteria such as household [income], health condition, the categories you would be put under; for instance, if you are in the social housing category, you can’t get a house outside the social housing bracket,” PS Hinga told Citizen TV host Hussein Mohamed.

“Social housing people would be taken to one place and balloted. This is a lottery that is being talked about. You know why? Because we are trying to make sure that there is transparency.

“However, that is not the only way to get a house; as a ministry, we are establishing Kenya mortgage finance company, by June [2019], it would be up and running. You would be able to go to the bank in June and get a mortgage,” said the PS.

On the question on why ‘tax’ Kenyans, who already own houses, the PS said “the government-built houses will be their second homes, which they can rent out”.

The Government had, earlier April, advertised in the Kenyan newspapers that employers would be required to deduct 1.5 per cent from their employees’ gross pay effective May. The move was, however, suspended by the courts after the workers’ unions and employers’ federation appealed against the edict.

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