By Prof. Alfred Omenya, Architect
1. The Government of Kenya intends to collect #HousingLevyFund from 3 million Kenyans, against A PROMISE of 500,000 houses; even if all the houses are delivered, 75% of eligible contributors WILL NOT GET ANY HOUSE!
2. To deliver 500,000 housing units in the remaining 43 months of Jubilee government, they will need to deliver 11,627 houses per month or 388 houses per day; with the complicated delivery mechanism that GoK is proposing this is simply not feasible.
3. Why rob the poor? Please note that your contributions to this fund will not pay for your house. If you contribute 3% of Kshs 15,000 your contributions in 20 years will be a mere Kshs 108,000. You will need to contribute for 111 years to own a Kshs 600,000 house, even at 0% interest rate!
4. What GoK is not clarifying is that your contribution merely entitles you to enter into a â€ślottoâ€ť to qualify for a mortgage facility â€“ if you are lucky; but you will have to pay for that facility separate from your contributions (you may use your contributions as top up though! Gerrit?)
5. We note that urban Kenya has over 90% renters; and less than 10% home owners; why do we have a government approach to housing that ignores that fact and focuses solely on home ownership?
6. A house is both a basic need and a commodity. As a basic need most of the people the government is targeting are already in one form of housing or another; as a commodity what makes government to think that this is the most preferable investment for all working class Kenyans? That we have no interest in small scale business, or agriculture, or T Bills or GoK own bonds? I donâ€™t trust this government to make wise investment decisions on my behalf!
7. World over, governments focus on housing policies; this desire by GoK to control delivery of houses does not make sense. The market has been delivering houses for the last 100 years, why canâ€™t government simply use its policy instruments to fix the challenges and enhance this delivery mechanism?
8. What justice is there in collecting money from a heavily taxed population for a product that you are sure you will not deliver; if this isnâ€™s callous, I donâ€™t know what is!
9. The question that we are asking is whether this policy is actually about housing or is it simply the capture of Kshs 57 billion annually by a heavily indebted and corrupt government that has mismanaged our economy?