President William Ruto, on Sunday, May 21, defended the proposed housing levy that will see formally employed Kenyans contribute 3% of their salaries to the National Housing Fund.
Ruto responds to Kenyans who don't want houses & 3% housing fund levy
President Ruto explains why Kenyans must contribute the 3% housing fund levy despite not being interested in the affordable housing scheme
Speaking during a Sunday service at Isiolo Boys High School, President Ruto answered a question many Kenyans have been asking, regarding why the contribution will be mandatory even for Kenyans who are not interested in owning homes through the affordable housing program.
The head of state said that the programme would result in the creation of 1 million jobs a year in the construction industry, and it is a collective duty for all Kenyans to help reduce the high rate of unemployment.
“Wengine wananiuliza nani alikuambia tunataka nyumba? Mwingine ananiuliza mbona unataka kukata pesa yangu? Hii Kenya hakuna Kenya ya rais, hakuna Kenya ya yule ako na kazi, hakuna Kenya ya yule hana kazi. Kenya ni yetu sisi sote. (Some people are asking who told me they want houses, and others are asking why I want to deduct their money. This country belongs to all of us regardless of being president, employed or jobless.)
“It is our collective business as the people of Kenya to make sure that we work together for this nation and we must carry everybody along,” Ruto spoke.
He reiterated his recent remarks made during a joint media interview where he said that it was every Kenyan's business to help alleviate unemployment in the country.
“You don’t think it is your business to contribute to the employment of unemployed Kenyans?” Ruto questioned the journalist. “That is why the constitution gives me the power to tax," the president added.
Why the National Housing Fund Levy is like a Chama
The National Housing Fund is a government initiative aimed at providing affordable housing to Kenyans.
The fund requires all employees to contribute 3% of their monthly salary. Every employee who contributes 3%, to their employer will also contribute 3% to the housing kitty.
According to State Department for Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary, Charles Hinga, the Housing Fund is like a national chama (savings group).
"We determined that in order for us to be able to provide those houses at those prices Sh5000, Sh10,000, Sh15,000, we have got to do something that every Kenyan knows how to do. And that is a national chama," the PS said in a recent interview with Spice FM.
The highest-earning person contributing to the Housing Fund will only pay Sh 2,500 monthly, while the majority of Kenyans will pay Sh1,000 to the fund.
The aim of the fund is to raise Sh9 billion per month, which will be used to start housing projects in the country.
After the construction of the houses, Kenyans will be able to own homes at an affordable price by paying a mortgage of 5%.
Those not interested in homeownership will be able to access their money after 7 years.
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