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Proposed tough consequences of defaulting rent for affordable housing units

The new 2024 Draft Affordable Housing Regulations has also brought back the 10% deposit requirement for buying a house

President William Ruto during a tour of Emgwen Affordable Housing Project in Nandi County on January 16, 2024

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Planning has released the draft Affordable Housing Regulations, 2024.

The 2024 Affordable Housing Regulations aim to streamline the process of housing allocation, provide financial support where needed, and ensure that the benefits of government housing initiatives are accessible to all eligible Kenyans.

The ministry has kickstarted the public participation process to gather views from various stakeholders.

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Failure to keep up with payments will lead to serious consequences under the new regulations.

Defaulters will receive a written notice from the board, giving them a chance to settle their dues.

Continued default may result in the reallocation of their unit or a shift to a less expensive unit to better align with their financial capacity.

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Who Qualifies and How to Apply

The 2024 Affordable Housing Regulations provide certain individuals the possibility to be exempted from the housing levy.

If you are covered under international or host country agreements that exempt you from taxes (for example expatriates or diplomats), or if your income includes pensions, gratuities, or insurance compensations, you may be eligible for this benefit.

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To apply, one must submit a written application to the Cabinet Secretary detailing the exemption reasons, accompanied by a KRA tax clearance certificate.

The decision process is transparent, with applicants informed of the outcome after a thorough review.

Are you considering applying for an affordable housing unit? If you're a Kenyan citizen over the age of eighteen and have not already received a housing allocation from the Board before, you might be eligible.

Applicants are required to submit detailed applications along with a 10% deposit of the housing unit's sale price.

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Required documents include identification proof, income verification, and a recent photograph among others.

Recognizing the financial constraints of many citizens, the board will offer deposit assistance for potential homeowners earning less than Sh20,000 monthly.

Eligible applicants must demonstrate that the house will serve as their primary residence and that the housing costs will not exceed 30% of their monthly income.

The assistance provided could be in the form of a low-interest loan or a grant, significantly easing the burden of upfront costs.

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Life circumstances change, and the regulations accommodate this by allowing applicants to request a change in their housing unit allocation.

Whether you need a larger or smaller unit, you will be allowed to submit a written request to the board.

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Conditions for approval include meeting the new unit's allocation criteria and ensuring all dues are settled.

Applications for Rural Affordable Housing Units

The new framework extends to rural areas, where applicants can apply for housing units by showing proof of land ownership, a valuation report, and a financial plan.

This initiative aims to promote rural development and provide housing solutions outside urban centers.

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Owners of affordable housing units must wait eight years after completing their payments before they can sell their homes.

Those wishing to sell within this period must seek and obtain consent from the board, ensuring that the units remain accessible to those who need them most.

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