What you need to know:
- Also present during the ceremony were Commonwealth Games champions Mary Moraa (800 metres) and Beatrice Chebet (5,000m), 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and sprinters Wiseman Were and Dan Kiviasi.
- Others were legendary distance runners Cathrine Ndereba, John Ngugi, Sally Barsosio and 2008 Beijing Olympics 800m champion Wilfred Bungei.
Athletics Kenya (AK) and Housing Finance Company (HFC) Group have signed a partnership that will see athletes save to enable them own houses in line with the government’s affordable housing scheme.
What the athletes will be required to do is open a “Nyumba Yangu” savings account with HFC Bank where they will raise a minimum of 12.5 percent deposit to own a house.
The Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba presided over the memorandum of understanding that was signed by AK president Jack Tuwei and HFC Group chief executive officer Robert Kibaara at Weston Hotel, Nairobi Tuesday.
Kibaara disclosed that the idea was conceived when he met Tuwei sometime back at Riadha House to discuss the opportunity of having athletes and members of AK family own houses.
“We decided that we were going to offer them support in two ways; by getting them affordable house in some of the government housing projects across the country through saving or as a group,” said Kibaara
Kibaara explained that they partner with developers to build the house for you or can finance you to buy a house at nine percent fixed interest rates.
However, Kibaara said that before they give someone the house, they give them the opportunity to save in a product that is classified as ‘affordable house product.’
“It takes a lot of hard work for our sportsmen and women to be world beaters and not by luck hence it’s our duty as a country to support them invest in good ventures,” said Kibaara, adding that buying a house is the biggest asset someone can invest in.
Since inception in 1965, KIbaara said they have built over 18,000 affordable houses in Kenya.
Namwamba described the venture as a noble initiative that will in the long run benefit both the athletes and AK family and called on them to embrace it.
“It’s unacceptable that while we are celebrating 60 years as a nation, the scourge of the slums continues to afflict the largest population. Most of our urban dwellers live in deplorable conditions and our sportsmen and women are not spared either,” said Namwamba.
Namwamba said the historic partnership between AK and HFC Group will provide dignified shelter, which is not only human necessity but a constitutional need and, right.
Namwamba noted that affordable housing is a key agenda under the bottom up economic transformation by the Kenya Kwanza government.
Tuwei said that the partnership is an assurance of a secure and peaceful future for all who will enlist in the scheme.
“This partnership will offer to ten of thousands of athletes in the country a chance to have a decent roof over their heads for the rest of their lives,” said Tuwei, adding that it aligns with the government’s plan to ensure every Kenyan has access to affordable and decent housing.
“We are happy as a sports federation to actualise this vision by President William Ruto and we thank him for this noble idea,” said Tuwei.
Also present during the ceremony were Commonwealth Games champions Mary Moraa (800 metres) and Beatrice Chebet (5,000m), 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and sprinters Wiseman Were and Dan Kiviasi.
Others were legendary distance runners Cathrine Ndereba, John Ngugi, Sally Barsosio and 2008 Beijing Olympics 800m champion Wilfred Bungei.