House Committee rejects 10pc deposit for affordable homes scheme

Parliament in session on November 9, 2023.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

National Assembly's Finance and National Planning Committee has rejected the requirement for a 10 percent deposit for affordable home buyers.

The axing of the clause from the 2023 Affordable Housing Bill forms part of the committee’s recommendations on the Bill ahead of its consideration by the whole house.

The deletion of the clause has been based on stakeholder concerns that the requirement would impact the number of individuals participating in the programme.

“The committee noted stakeholders’ concerns and agreed to delete the amount of 10 percent as a deposit and further recommended that the deposit amount be prescribed in the regulations,” the committee noted in a report on its consideration of the bill.

During public and stakeholder submissions to the committee, residents in Homa Bay County, for instance, argued that the 10 percent deposit rate requirement was excessively high and that it could deter eligible individuals from participating in the affordable housing programme.

Additionally, the residents noted the axing of the requirement would make the programme more accessible and inclusive, to increase participation and ensure broader access to affordable housing opportunities for a larger segment of the population.

Individuals seeking to be allocated an affordable housing unit had been required to provide proof of a requisite deposit of at least 10 percent of the value of the affordable housing unit being applied for.

Other requirements include copies of individual’s national identity cards and copies of Kenya Revenue Authority personal identification number certificates.

Further recommendations made by the committee include the inclusion of institutional housing as part of the affordable housing programme following a request for public participation to provide housing options directly through the university.

“By providing affordable housing options directly through the university, students would have access to safe and affordable living arrangements, thereby alleviating financial burdens and promoting greater inclusivity in higher education.

"This approach not only supports student well-being but also contributes to the overall growth and vibrancy of the university community,” the committee quoted submissions by an unidentified Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the Tom Mboya University in Homa Bay.

At the same time, the committee has adopted additional suggestions from the public hearings including the granting of internships for students in Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions situated within areas where affordable housing is being undertaken.

The move is expected to have long-term benefits of uplifting living standards, by providing such students with skills and opportunities for meaningful employment and self-reliance.