Ruto takes Affordable Housing Project to his backyard

In the afternoon, he will commission Eldoret 64 Market in Turbo Constituency

In Summary

•On November 28, 2023 a three-judge bench declared the housing levy unconstitutional.

•The government has already rolled out the affordable housing programme’s 200 per constituency project as promised by President  Ruto.

President William Ruto writing on a blackboard at Kamagut Primary School in Turbo, Uasin Gishu on January 8, 2024
President William Ruto writing on a blackboard at Kamagut Primary School in Turbo, Uasin Gishu on January 8, 2024
Image: PCS

The Affordable and Social Housing Agenda is among the key pillars in the Kenya Kwanza coalition manifesto.

On Tuesday, President William Ruto will take the project to his home county in Uasin Gishu where he will preside over the groundbreaking of two projects.

He will preside over the launch of the construction of the Kidiwa Affordable Housing Programme in  Soy Constituency and the construction of the Pioneer Affordable Housing Programme in Kapseret Constituency.

In the afternoon, he will commission Eldoret 64 Market in Turbo Constituency.

Last week, more than 1,000 tenants were evicted from county houses in Eldoret town to pave the way for the projects.

The families protested as they were evicted from the houses at Pioneer Estate where some of them have lived for more than 30 years.

The AHP has been billed as a programme that will solve the country's housing crisis while providing jobs to about a million people a year, President Ruto has marketed the idea as a do-or-die proposition.

The housing pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) not only aims to improve the quality of life for people but also serves as an economic stimulus, promoting enterprise growth and job creation.

In the 2023-24 financial year, the government allocated Sh35.2 billion towards the Housing program.

The government has also mobilised resources to support the construction of affordable housing units and social housing units.

As part of the housing budget, Sh3.2 billion to go towards the affordable housing programme.

The overall target by the President is to construct 200,000 affordable housing units annually which will create between 600,000 and one million jobs each year.

However, the project has suffered some setbacks.

A three-judge bench of the High Court consisting Justices David Majanja, Christine Meoli and Lawrence Mugambi on November 28, declared the housing levy unconstitutional.

They, however, allowed a state prayer to grant stay orders until January 10, 2024, pending an appeal.

However, on January 3, the court ordered that the government will continue collecting housing levy awaiting the court's decision on the same on January 26, 2024.

This is after a three-judge bench of the Court of Appeal ordered that the status quo be maintained until the aforementioned date when a decision will be made on whether the directives will be quashed or extended.

"In the meantime, the status quo obtaining as of today shall be maintained until the delivery of the ruling," the court order dated January 3, reads in part.

200 per constituency project

The government already rolled out the affordable housing programme’s 200 per constituency project as promised by President Ruto in 2023

In June, the Head of State announced that 178 out of 290 subcounties had been given the green light to construct the units.

Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga noted that all 290 constituencies have land available for the affordable housing programme.

In Vihiga county, at least 220 housing units will be constructed on the two-acre piece of land owned by the national government at Milimani estate where an estimated 3, 000 jobs are set to be created as a result.

The tender for the construction of the project has been awarded to Padaa Enterprises for Sh536 million.

In Bahati, Nakuru County, the  220 units will be constructed on a 10-acre piece of land at an estimated cost of Sh505 million.

The project will include the improvement of roads to the site as well as power connection and expansion of the sewer and water infrastructure from the already existing network.

A similar project was launched in Lurambi, Kakamega county to set up 220 units. Some 3,500 youth will be engaged directly and indirectly in the project.

The developer, Top Choice Surveillance Limited engaged Kakamega Engineering and Fabricators Association and KEFINCO Carpenters Association with over 100 skilled artisans for a partnership in the project.

The developer is expected to ring-fence an estimated Sh26m for the over 1,200 doors and 1,200 windows required for the project.

Ruto also presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for 110 housing units in Gichugu, Kirinyaga county.

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