June 18, 2024

Government changes tune on sale of affordable housing units

3 min read
Government changes tune on sale of affordable housing units

Government abolishes the policy stopping the owners from selling affordable housing units after buying them

Government abolishes the policy stopping the owners from selling affordable housing units after buying them.

The government has changed its official position on the resale of affordable housing units stating that Kenyans who own the units will be able to dispose of the units after acquiring them.

Speaking before members of the National Assembly’s Delegated Legislation Committee on Tuesday, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga confirmed that the restriction previously put in place by the government has since been removed.

While making his remarks, Hinga outlined that the policy going forward will be that Kenyans will be able to sell the units after 5 years.

The PS was responding to a question posed by the Vice Chairperson of the Delegated Legislation Committee, Robert Gichimu who sought clarity on why the government was prohibiting reselling.

“Why should a person be restricted from disposing of their unit? Shouldn’t they have the freedom to do anything they want with their house?” Gichimu inquired.

PS Hinga responded by explaining that while putting the policy in place, the national government was seeking to prevent the commercialization of the Affordable Housing units.

The PS emphasised the 5-year window which had now been incorporated into the draft Affordable Housing Units regulations was based on international best practices.

Even as this happened, committee members suggested that the government needed to undertake public participation before the commencement of any projects.

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Currently, the draft regulations mandate the affordable housing board to issue a two-week notice to the public, specifying the period for public participation.

This notice must also be published in two newspapers of national circulation and broadcast on one radio station with national reach.

The lawmakers also recommended that the board also taps least three local radio stations, social media, and other popular communication channels to ensure comprehensive engagement with members of the public.

This comes after the government stated that those applying for affordable housing units would be allocated on a case-by-case basis.

Notably, the government has also revealed that several  groups will be prioritized in allocation including; Kenyans forced to shift from their homes after being marooned by floods, persons living with disabilities, and the youth.

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