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100,000 Kenyans register online for affordable housing program

The ministry is also planning to set up 10,000 units to clear up slums in informal settlements part of its social housing mission/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – More than 100,000 Kenyans have registered with the Boma Yangu portal since January which aims to collect data to be used for planning and allocation of the Government’s affordable housing program under the Big Four Agenda.

Principal Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga said they have seen a sharp increase in number of registrations over the last month due to increased awareness of the Affordable Housing Program.

“The houses are not free but are being offered at much lower rate than the market rates. As Government, we are working towards ensuring the construction, completion and handover of these houses is expedited so we can give our people a sense of ownership, promote social equity and improve access to our urban cities,” Hinga said, adding, that the contractor for Park Road, which is a flagship project with 1,370 units, is already on site.

The program allows Kenyans age 18 years to register on the Boma Yangu platform or seek help from Huduma Centres, Nairobi and will soon be launched in other Huduma Centres across the country.

The registration process is said to be free.

In addition to the biodata, employment status and household information, the portal captures details of where registered users prefer living which will inform the government on where the houses will be developed.

The affordable housing program has a target of delivering close to 150,000 units every year that is to be provided through the National Tenant Purchase Scheme.

The potential homeowners will then channel their monthly rent payments towards the purchase of the houses.

Under the program, the one bedroom goes for Sh1million, Sh2 million for two bedrooms and Sh3 million for 3 bedroomed units.

The homeowners are then given a grace period of 25 years to clear their balances inclusive of affordable interests’ rates ranging between 3 and 7 per cent.

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Once done with registration, a preliminary assessment is then undertaken to verify the authenticity of the details provided and upon completion, the potential homeowners will then allocate a unique identification number which they will then use to make their contribution to their account in the Housing Fund.

Those who meet the basic qualification criteria will participate in a regular and transparent allocation process for the available houses.

Hinga said the allocation of the houses will be done upon commencement of the construction after which the new homeowner can begin paying at manageable and affordable repayment terms.

“Further to ensure affordability is attained, a system has been worked out so that the monthly contributions will be on a fixed rate over the life of the financing,” said Hinga.

The National Government has already made pacts with 24 counties that have committed to deliver 2,000 affordable houses in the respective counties.

Of the 24, 5 counties have already identified land on which these houses will be developed and are in the process of alienating the same parcels of land for the roll out of the program in their regions.

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