Housing levy: Government softens stance to optional scheme

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The government has opened an option of voluntary contribution to the affordable housing scheme where a person will be required to pay Sh200 per month.

This comes even as the contentious 1.5 percent housing levy case remains unsettled in court after an injunction was placed.

The government had earlier said the scheme is mandatory.

The Principal Secretary in the State Department for Housing and Urban Development Mr. Charles Hinga Mwaura says the activation is a response to those Kenyans who have been urging them on through Bomayangu portal.

“The operationalisation of the voluntary contributions is a significant milestone in the implementation of the affordable housing program, which we are very proud of,” said Mr Hinga.

According to the housing department more than 225,000 Kenyans have registered to participate in the affordable housing programme.

“It is expected that these contributions to the Housing Fund, together with the seed capital from the National Treasury, will go a long way in providing certainty to developers and motivate capital investments for the project to ensure delivery of the affordable houses,” Hinga said

In April, the Labour court issued orders temporarily stopping the government from implementing the 1.5 per cent levy for the housing fund.

Justice Maureen Onyango issued the order, saying the suspension would allow the consolidation of the current case by Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) with another earlier filed by the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu).

In its application, Cofek says it is “unreasonable to compel citizens who will not secure a house to contribute towards house ownership by another person without corresponding benefits”.

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