• The new contribution plan will run parallel with the 1.5 per cent statutory deductions.
•Over 225,000 Kenyans have registered through the bomayangu.co.ke platform.
Non-salaried Kenyans can now contribute as little as Sh200 per month following the launch of a new strategy to boost the affordable housing agenda.
One can contribute as much as he can afford monthly but Sh200 is the minimum, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said during the launch on Wednesday.
The state's 1.5 per cent monthly deduction on employees and employers policy has not commenced as the matter was challenged by outfits like Cotu and FKE in court.
The new strategy does not deflect the deductions, the PS said in a statement, adding that it only widens the bracket for as many Kenyans as possible to own homes.
Over 225,000 Kenyans have registered through the bomayangu.co.ke platform, Hinga said.
To contribute, one has to first register through the platform and thereafter make payments through mobile money transfer platforms M-Pesa, card payment or bank transfer.
"Another option will be through Huduma Life mobile application which can be downloaded from the Android play store or through the Huduma e-commerce service which can be accessed through www.hudumakenya.go.ke," Hinga's statement explains.
Construction sites for the new housing units are in Park Road and Pangani in Nairobi. The PS had announced late last month that the government will soon break new construction grounds in Shauri Moyo and Starehe in the city.
A total of 228 houses in Park Road will be allocated in September, he said.
Hinga assured the would-be contributors that the money saved through the platform will be safe, explaining that they will "get a notification of the fund’s confirmation of receipt of the funds paid on a real-time basis".
"In addition, all money paid will be credited to the contributor’s account and they will be able to see the savings made from their accounts,” he said.
Hinga explained that the voluntary contributions have proper legal backing "after changes were made to the Housing Act to provide a mechanism for those who opt into the programme to contribute to the Housing Fund."
The seed capital has been provided by the National Treasury. " It will go a long way in providing certainty to developers and motivate capital investments for the project to ensure delivery of the affordable houses," Hinga said.
The houses will be provided at interest rates of between 3 per cent for social housing and 5-7 per cent low cost and mortgage gap segments respectively. They have a repayment period of between 20 to 25 years for either affordable mortgages or the tenant purchase schemes.
The government has assured that these rates will not change over the payment period, thus providing certainty in the payment amount for the homeowners, the PS said.
Edited by R.Wamochie