State to match govt workers’ 3pc contributions to housing fund in new plan

William Ruto

 President William Ruto (centre),  Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi (left) and Mr Mudavadi’s wife Tessie Musalia clap during a function at Friends Quakers Church in Donholm, Nairobi, yesterday.

Photo credit: PCSM

 President William Ruto has announced that the government will contribute three per cent every month for civil servants who will opt to contribute a similar percentage to a new affordable housing fund.

The President added that, for other Kenyans who will also opt to contribute three per cent of their incomes to the fund, the law will compel their employers to give the same percentage.

He said the move is part of a new plan that the government is set to roll out to enable Kenyans to acquire homes.

Speaking at Friends Church Quakers in Donholm, Nairobi, yesterday, the President regretted that the country has only 40,000 mortgages compared to a potential of two million given the size of the economy.

He said the national government will roll out the plan soon.

“To enable many Kenyans to buy houses under the affordable housing project, we have a housing fund to which we want every Kenyan to contribute three per cent of their incomes. If you earn Sh10, 000, Sh300 will go towards the fund every month,” said President Ruto.

Informal settlements

“For every civil servant who will contribute three per cent of their salary towards affordable housing, as a government, we will contribute for him or her three per cent every month to the housing fund,” he added.

Dr Ruto said most Kenyans, especially those in Nairobi, still live in informal settlements and need an upgrade on the quality of houses they live in.

President Ruto noted that 30,000 affordable housing units have already been built in Nairobi by the Kenya Kwanza administration, adding that, within the next two weeks, he would launch the construction of another 30,000 units in Makongeni, Nairobi.

He added that the target of his government is to build at least 100,000 affordable houses in Nairobi every year.

“The houses will be for the common mwananchi to pay between Sh4,000 and Sh10,000 and own them after 15 years,” he said.

The Head of State explained that the project will not only make available affordable houses but also create employment opportunities for Kenyan youth.

This, as he pointed out that a project for building just a single unit can employ between five and eight individuals, hence the affordable housing initiative provided the government with  an immense opportunity to create jobs.

“We are not only going to drive our plan on affordable housing but we are also going to create opportunities for the young people of this city and the rest of the country through this plan,” he said.

He said the government was looking to build a culture of saving among Kenyans because the country is currently only saving eight per cent of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to other countries that are saving more than 40 per cent while China’s saves 55 per cent of her GDP.

“We need to travel that journey so that we can have a firm foundation for our country. We must be a country that thinks about tomorrow,” he said.

He explained that, since amending the law to raise monthly National Social Security Fund (NSSF) contributions from the previous flat rate of   Sh200 to six per cent of one’s income, the country has doubled the amount of money saved in just two months.

At the same time, he said, the government is working with Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to clean capital and restore its lost glory.

He said the national government already committed Sh1 billion to the Nairobi Rivers Commission that is tasked with rehabilitation of water bodies in the city

“We are going to clean and make the city of Nairobi green and generate electricity from the refuse,” President Ruto said yesterday.