Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has said the Council of Governors (CoG) will support the national government and the private sector in the implementation of the affordable housing agenda.
Speaking at the Kenya Private Developers Association Affordable Housing Conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, Ms Waiguru, who is the vice-chairperson of the governors’ council, said the implementation of the agenda will be a reprieve to many Kenyans who are grappling with the high cost of housing.
She praised the national government for offering incentives that will encourage private developers to take part in the project, promising similar support at the counties level.
"As the Council of Governors, we support the move by the national government to offer reprieve to private developers who will be engaged in the project by reducing the number of units required for one to be eligible for a tax cut from 400 to 100.
"The national government's move to reduce tax on resulting gains and profits from low-cost units from the previous 30 per cent to 15 per cent, as stipulated in Section 3 (f) of the draft Income Tax Bill should also be applauded," said Governor Waiguru.
She noted that CoG has already embraced the mandate of coordinating, planning and developing affordable housing by putting in place the requisite structures and kick-starting the processes involved.
"We have already set the wheels in motion by working on the constitution of the Land, Planning and Urban Development Committee whose roles include supporting county governments as they take the lead in the implementation of this project.
"Additionally, a number of counties have already signed a memorandum of understanding with the national government to facilitate coordinated delivery of affordable houses with the aim of addressing housing shortage in the country. The development of housing policies is also underway in the counties," she said.
She further called for constant consultations between the national government, county governments and private developers to ensure the project benefits those in need.
"I would like to thank the State Department of Housing and Public Works for involving counties in the carrying out of county housing demand analysis.
"I would like to assure government officials and private developers present here today of our commitment to ensure the low-cost housing project succeeds. Counties are already giving priority to the servicing of land where the houses will be built through a number of programmes including the Kenya Urban Support
Programme," said Ms Waiguru.
In his state of the Nation address, President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated his commitment to ensuring the realisation of affordable housing as one of his key legacy agendas in his Big Four plan, with the government setting its sight on building one million low-cost houses by 2023.