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PS Hinga: Why affordable housing units are in darkness years after completion

Housing PS Charles Hinga revealed why many completed affordable units are yet to be occupied

Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga has blamed Kenya Power for the delay in connecting completed housing units to the national grid.

Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Housing, Urban Planning, and Public Works, PS Hinga said that Kenya Power had failed to install consumer electricity meters on already completed units.

He said that the ministry had already paid Kenya Power for the consumer metres but the firm was yet to supply them.

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PS Hinga added that the non-cooperation had resulted in the delayed occupation of houses for up to three years.

“The issue of power is generally a big problem for us because if you look when we paid Kenya power for this thing, because we have paid for them to get power to the site, sometimes it is 2 to 3 years down the road and you still don't have a power connection.

“Sometimes you have to write to the PS himself then they tell you there's a court moratorium on them bringing meters. It is a real nightmare,” he said.

PS Hinga raised concerns that the delay in the occupation of the completed houses would result in faster depreciation of the houses.

He said that unoccupied houses would cost the taxpayers extra to renovate the houses.

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KRA also announced that the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing, and Urban Development Zacharia Macharia appointed KRA as the official collecting agent for the Affordable Housing Levy (AHL) through a Public Notice dated August 2, 2023.

"With effect from 1st July, 2023, all Employers are required to deduct the AHL from the employee's gross salary and remit together with the employer's contribution as follows.

"1.5% of the employee's gross monthly salary by the employee and 1.5% of the employee's monthly gross salary by the employer," the notice by KRA read in part.

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KRA warned that any employer who fails to comply with the AHL regulations will face penalties.

In case of non-payment, the employer will incur a penalty equivalent to two percent of the unpaid funds for each month the payment remains outstanding.

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