A day after the Trade Cabinet Secretary revealed that 30,000 Kenyans have been contributing to the Housing Fund already, raising Ksh 1.8 Billion, the Jua Kali association made their submission in support of the housing levy.

The informal sector workers on Sunday stated their position in a statement through Jua Kali Constructors and Nairobi Market Traders Association during Finance Bill 2023 hearings in Nairobi.

In their submissions, they called on the government to implement the Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) and urged legislators to support the Finance Bill that will create employment opportunities.

“We are the Mama Mbogas and most of our people are slum dwellers and we must be given the opportunity going forward to talk about the housing scheme,” they stated.

The Jua Kali sector further stated that they know the pain of poor housing and that is why they were in full support of the Affordable Housing Programme introduced by the President.

“If these houses are for low-income people, let them remain for low-income people,” they noted.

The 3pc Housing Levy Fund which is a provision under the controversial Finance Bill 2023 has got Kenyans on edge, with the government embarking on a public participation exercise to ramp up discussions on the Bill.

Last week the Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said the proposed housing fund contribution is not a tax but a saving, “the fund confers a direct right to either get an affordable unit or, after seven years if one does not want it, we give you back your money plus your return.”

PS Hinga who was speaking at State House on Wednesday explained that the proposed housing fund has two schemes; mandatory and voluntary, adding that people in the informal sector are allowed to save through the voluntary scheme.

He said with the contribution, the government can confidently get investors for the housing plan, with the assurance that they will be able to pay them after construction is done.

“The housing levy should be driven by law and not voluntary because if it is driven by law, we can call investors because there’s an assurance of collecting money even after three years, so long as the law is there.” Said PS Hinga.

While demonstrating optimism PS Hinga told parents who are complaining about the housing levy that: “by the time your child is 18, they can have a unit.”

On Friday, President William Ruto, commissioned the ground breaking of the eighth project under the Affordable Housing Program in Embu County.

So far eight projects have been launched constituting 36,092 units in total with the latest being the Embu Affordable Housing by the National Housing Commission (NHC) commissioned on Friday by President William Ruto that constitutes of 400 units.

By Fred Azelwa.