The Government of Kenya under the leadership of president H.E Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has made it a priority to ensure long-term economic growth and development for its citizens through “The Big Four Agenda” under which affordable housing falls under.
Although the housing development in Kenya has grown significantly, developers have mostly focused on middle to upper-income groups.
The aim was to ensure an affordable housing market for Kenyans living below the income pyramid; income of below KES 150,000 per month.
So, let’s delve in and see some of the processes the government has put in place to make this possible.
Affordable housing means the development of adequate, well-spaced, and standardized houses that have a continuous supply of electricity and clean water.
The houses are to be in decent places and within access to those in the lower, middle-, and upper-income levels. They should be affordable enough to allow the occupants to meet their basic needs.
Before this, the cost of buying land, building a house, and servicing it with needed utility infrastructure such as water and electricity was high. Certain factors such as the location of the land affected the pricing which increase the house rent and mortgage.
Also, developers would often avert the responsibility of servicing the houses with key infrastructure utilities such as water, sewerage, electricity to buyers.
To facilitate this, the government through the ministry of lands has rolled out various avenues to provide affordable housing for its citizens:
1. Boma Yangu
This is an online platform that allows Kenyans to register online, begin monthly savings and apply for houses under the government affordable housing scheme.
How to enroll for Boma Yangu
Registration to Boma Yangu is free and is without a deadline. However, you must meet certain requirements to be eligible.
- You must be a Kenyan citizen
- Must be over the age of 18 years
- Have a valid national identification card (ID)
- Have a valid KRA pin.
If you meet the above requirements, submit your personal details which will be verified by relevant government stakeholders.
Once successful, you’ll be granted a unique identification number which you will use when making your monthly housing contributions. The process of house allocation is conducted regularly in a fair and transparent manner.
To qualify for a house, you must be a first-time beneficiary, intend to occupy the house as a resident, and save at least 12.5% of the value of the home applied for. You will be required to demonstrate your ability to pay for the house by furnishing the State with relevant financial documents.
2. Partnerships with the private sector
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have seen an emerging growth in recent years within developing nations.
The government has also linked with the private sector to construct houses that are affordable to all Kenyans. Willstone Homes and Centum investment are some of the private companies partnered with the government.
According to KNBS, in 2021, the real estate industry in Kenya contributed up to 8.9% of the country’s GDP.
3. Delivering title deeds to landowners and investors
A title deed is proof of legal land ownership. Having land title deeds helps investors develop more property.
In June 2022, the president together with the ministry of lands launched the issuance of title deeds to 1M landowners.
The delivery of title deeds will enable Kenyans to put the land to use. This will allow Kenyans to have a home at an affordable rate.
The affordable housing agenda has made the dream of owning a house within reach. It has now moved from being a reservoir of the upper-income earners to the common man.
Although much must be done like reducing the land rates, taxes, etc. major milestones have been made, and those in the lower, middle and upper economy class now boast of having a space they can call home at affordable rates.
If you need to consult, we are available to advise.