Policy changes at NHC to guide allotments

August 29, 2012
Acting Managing Director Patrick Bucha says a committee has been formed to look into policy reforms at the corporation/MIKE KARIUKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Following allegations of fraudulent allocation of houses at the National Housing Corporation (NHC), efforts are being made to salvage the State-owned firm’s image.

Acting Managing Director Patrick Bucha says a committee has been formed to look into policy reforms at the corporation.

“At National Housing Corporation one of the major issues that was identified is actually the lack of policy to guide the allocation processes, according to the reports that came out of the investigations that were done,” he said.

The committee will come up with four guidelines that will include the National Housing Allocation Policy meant to guide the allotment of houses in the Tenant Purchase Houses and Outright/Cash Sale Houses programs.

Under Tenant Purchase, NHC provides long term loans for a maximum of 18 years at a rate of 13 percent for houses developed by the corporation, while under Outright/Cash Sale Kenyans take mortgages to buy houses whose ownership documents are provided on completion.

Bucha says the other policies will deal with the advancement of the Rural Housing Loans, as well as one addressing estate management and another the allocation of houses to NHC staff.

“There will be a policy that guides the staff at the NHC and will limit the number of units that staff can purchase, further minimising cases of misuse,” he explained.

The policy on rural housing, Bucha said, was necessary especially with attention turning to developing rural areas following the devolution process.

“These loans must be well managed. Because few people know that there is such a loan so there is low uptake, but for those that take it use the funds to put up commercial buildings. The policy will help with supervision as well,” he said.

NHC advances a maximum of Sh3 million to Kenyans for a period of 10 years, through the Rural Housing Loans for the improvement of rural/peri-urban residential houses.

The NHC came under fire last month after Housing Minister Soita Shitanda called for the prosecution of top management at the corporation including the chairman, managing director and finance manager who were accused of flouting the house allocation policy.

The chairman, Bosire Ogero, allegedly received five units, while the managing director James Ruitha got four.

The finance manager Manasseh Wandabwa got nine and the company secretary Elizabeth Mbugua is said to have amassed 21 units.

Investigative bodies Efficiency Monitoring Unit and the Inspectorate of State Corporation’s have completed probes and submitted their findings to NHC for implementation, with the report from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission still pending.

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