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April 19, 2018

Review outdated laws to ease Uhuru's housing promise - new ISK chair

A file photo of Abraham Samoei who is the new Chairman of the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya during a press conference. /COURTESY
A file photo of Abraham Samoei who is the new Chairman of the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya during a press conference. /COURTESY

The newly elected Institute of Surveyors of Kenya chairperson has called for a review of laws so Jubilee's affordable housing promise is fulfilled.

Affordable housing for low income earners is one of the four pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four agenda. The others are universal healthcare, manufacturing and food security.

Read: Uhuru, The Aga Khan discuss investment, Big Four agenda

Also read: Ministry make changes to deliver on Big Four agenda

Abraham Samoei, the new Chairman, said the institute will back the project by proposing new regulations.

Samoei said the Legislature needs to review the Estate Agents, Valuers, Sectional Properties and Survey Acts, as well as enact the Building Surveyors Bill that is in Parliament.

“The Valuers Act, for example, has been in force since 1984 and needs to be reviewed to ensure it is flexible. [This way, it will] help low income earners and investors have easier access to land and property,” he told the Star on Sunday.

Samoei further noted that the current laws do not include use of modern technology.

“21st century technology, such as the use of drones to survey land, is in place, but has not been approved. Most surveyors still use old methods," he noted.

The institute also called for completion of the digitisation of land records to inspire investor confidence and curb loss of files, multiple selling of land and grabbing.

“The digitisation process should include planners, architects and others," he said.

He added that subsidies and lower interest rates will facilitate the cheaper housing project.

Kenya has less than 100 licensed surveyors while 1,000 are qualified but have not been registered by the institute.

Samoei noted the slow transition from training to practice has hurt the profession and given rise to quacks.

The official faced deputy chairperson Eunice Macharia in the race to replace former chair Stephen Ambani. He will serve until 2020.

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