A press briefing by State House spokesperson Hussein Mohamed and Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga on affordable housing has stirred reactions from Kenyans on social media.
During the press briefing, PS Hinga, asserted and explained that the levy will solve Kenya’s housing problem.
He went ahead to explain why it is a good idea for the provision for the contribution to be included in the law as captured in the Finance Bill, 2023.
“Some of you are asking why can’t we make this voluntary? But when it is driven by law, if I’m going to get a billion a month, it means I can go out there and call investors and tell them that as long as the law is there, I will be collecting money after three years,” he said.
He also revealed the origin of the housing levy idea mentioning countries like Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria and China from which he says the government benchmarked.
Notably, in what looked like a challenging moment for him, Hinga revealed that there would be more expenses for homeowners who qualify to participate in the programme saying they will pay at least Ksh 2,500 for maintenance.
He further said that those who falter on payment along the 20 to 30-year repayment journey will be thrown out of their houses.
“The criteria for allocation is ‘first past the gate’, you must have raised a 10 per cent deposit for that unit and you must register at ‘Boma Yangu’,” PS Hinga said.
“You will pay a service charge because that is your house. The conversation is owners versus renting, you need to take care of that house,” he said, indicating that estates would have to organise themselves to determine service charges that are to take care of maintenance costs."
A section of netizens immediately took to social media to air their opinions on the proposed new levy and to guage the success of the presser.
If the reactions are anything to go by, the explanation given from the event that was hosted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, about the new levy - that seeks 3 per cent of workers' monthly basic salary to fund the project - was not satisfactory.
Here are some of the reactions;
If you have to explain something over 10 times and people still can't see its usefulness and are still against it, just drop it. This affordable housing thing is a long con. From the tenders involved to the beneficiaries of the houses. Just make life affordable we will build. https://t.co/kw1hDVLB5p— BRAVIN YURI (@BravinYuri) May 24, 2023
Even after the 1000th press briefing about the HSE financing , no government official, even the president has made sense on this or shared a clear explanation on this.— Black Superman 🌻 (@MykKioko) May 24, 2023
We are not interested in this thing.
The more you try to explain it the more you reveal the absurdity in it.
Drop it and if it has to pass let it be voluntary!— Someone's Son 🇰🇪 (@mutunga001) May 24, 2023
The comments section....wueh. Someone should tell our President to shelve this thing. It's not sellable. There should be someone around him who can tell him that majority of Kenyans do not want this #Housingfund https://t.co/zedHb7Cgu0— Jagedo aka mtu ya mjengo (@lindahoguttu) May 24, 2023
🚫📈 Adding more taxes on an already burdened Kenya is deeply insensitive! Our people deserve relief, not heavier burdens. It's time for the government to consider the well-being of its citizens and seek alternative solutions.— Fridah Gacheri (@kibukofridah) May 24, 2023
We want hospitals and schools. We will build houses for ourselves.— ISAIAH (@isaiahmngl) May 24, 2023
Read all the comments here.