The State Department of Housing has said that 17,000 Kenyans have begun making voluntary contributions to the State’s affordable housing plan

Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga told Citizen that the free-will subscriptions are a reflection of the government’s own belief in the housing concept which, however, remains shrouded in speculation and mystery.

“Kenyans want houses that is a fact. The houses we have advocated are decent and have all the amenities with the offering of the desired high quality of life,” he said.

A court order sought by a total of 11 bodies opposed to mandatory deduction earlier this year had barred the government from deducting the stipulated 1.5% of Kenyans earnings to be deposited in the housing fund.

Undeterred, the housing department had turned to other funding alternatives including capital markets and public-private partnerships

“There was a lot of noise made on how the deductions were to be made operational in spite of following global best practices. While we still believe it’s the right way to go, we are looking at alternative means of achieving the same ends,” PS Hinga added.

“The market has responded. Capital loves certainty, and as such, we have made guidelines for investors to put in money through policy and fiscal interventions.”

Several organizations and private actors have already thrown their weight behind the government initiative including the World Bank, Africa Development Bank and Shelter Afrique among other private investors.

275,000 Kenyans have already signed up for houses through the government’s affordable housing portal.

Related; State unveils affordable housing portal