State Department for Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga now says he previously discussed the Affordable Housing agenda with Azimio leader Raila Odinga in 2012.
Speaking in an interview with a local radio station, Hinga said that Raila, in his previous campaign, voiced his support for the housing levy, urging him not to change his tune now that he is in opposition.
Hinga says in the 2012 meeting with the former Prime Minister, they discussed the housing deficit in Kenya. He says Raila was very passionate about the plight of Kenyans living in informal settlements in the country.
“We may disagree on how we want to solve a problem but we must start by agreeing we have a problem. Four million Kenyans live in informal settlements. These are Kenyans living in places where they lack basic services, and when the Government comes up with a solution to the same, the affluent and wealthy want to decide for the less fortunate,” he said.
Hinga says that under the Affordable Housing Program, the government provides land for free, waives taxes for the developer and standardizes the cost of production for materials.
PS Hinga said that while they are solving the housing deficit by ensuring decent and affordable units for Kenyans, they are at the same time addressing unemployment among the youth.
“Behind the program, behind the noise, there are people with testimonials. When you believe in something, you will help the likes of the 55 homeowners from Ngokomka who own houses in Park Road,” he said.
According to the PS, Ngokomka Association did 8500 doors for the Park Road project at a cost of Ksh120 million and some of the members used their proceeds to buy houses.
The PS welcomed the debate on the finance bill saying recommendations from Kenyans during public participation will be incorporated.
“We have a broken Housing system. We have 1,141 informal settlements in our country while over 65 per cent of Kenyans living in urban areas live in slums. If we leave the housing deficit problem to the private sector, they will only provide for three per cent and informal settlements will continue growing,” he said.