, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – President Mwai Kibaki has called on the Ministry of Housing to ensure total transparency and accountability in the construction and allocation of the houses under the government’s housing scheme for civil servants.
President Kibaki said only those civil servants who have passed the criteria of getting the units should be handed the houses.
He was speaking on Wednesday as he presided over the official handing over of houses at the Ngara Phase I and II Civil Servants Tenants purchase housing project.
“The housing units we have commissioned today will transform the quality of life of the purchasers’ families. I urge you to diligently service your mortgages and ensure high standards of maintenance of these houses and facilities herein. I also call on the Ministry of Housing to ensure total transparency in the allocation of the houses,” urged Kibaki.
The president at the same time called on other employers in the private sector to help their employees access affordable housing.
He has also challenged the financial institutions to develop appropriate and more affordable mortgage facilities to suit potential customers, especially the low income earners in our country.
“It is unacceptable that in a vibrant and growing economy such as ours, the total number of mortgage loans is only less than 20,000. This is way below our potential since it is a well known fact that there are thousands of Kenyans who would be willing to service a mortgage if it was more affordable,” lamented the Head of State.
So far 350 houses out of 656 in Ngara have been taken whereby the civil servants will pay at a maximum of Sh5 million for period of 18 years at a five percent interest rate.
This is one of the largest single housing projects completed in the country in recent times. Apart from the 656 housing units, the project comprise a shopping centre and a nursery school.
The Civil Servants Housing Scheme Fund is also planning to embark on new housing projects in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nyeri and Kisumu.
“The housing projects planned to commence this financial year under the fund, include 240 units in Mombasa, 200 units in Kisumu, 160 units in Nyeri and 1600 units in Shauri Moyo and Parklands area of Nairobi,” said Housing Minister Soita Shitanda.
Shitanda has called on the Treasury to add Sh3 billion to the Fund to be able to fully facilitate these projects adding that the biggest challenge is lack of funds.
The Housing Scheme Fund was launched in 2004 to provide loan facility for construction of residential houses for rental or sale to civil servants.