Over 100, 000 Kenyans have registered for President Uhuru’s affordable housing plan through the Boma Yangu portal since January.
The portal was created to collect data that will be used for planning and the allocation of the government’s affordable housing under the Big Four Agenda.
According to Charles Hinga, the Principal Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, the portal registered a spike in registrations over the last month owing to increased awareness of the plan.
“The houses are not free but are being offered at a much lower rate than the market rates. As Government, we are working towards ensuring the construction, completion, and handover of these houses is expedited so we can give our people a sense of ownership, promote social equity and improve access to our urban cities,” Hinga said.
He also added that the contractor for Park Road, a flagship project with 1,370 units, is already on site.
Registration for the program is free and Kenyans above the age of 18 can register through the Boma Yangu platform or seek help from Huduma Centers. However, the registration process in Huduma Centers is yet to be launched in other counties apart from Nairobi.
Details captured by the portal include employment status, biodata, and household information as well as details of where one would prefer to live. This will inform the government on where the affordable units will be set up.
The government targets to deliver about 150,000 units each year through the National Tenant Purchase Scheme.
Rent payments by the potential homeowners will then be channeled towards the purchase of the houses.
The affordable housing program rates have a one-bedroom house going for 1 million shillings, 2 million shillings for two bedrooms, and 3 million shillings for 3 bedroomed units.
A grace period of 25 years is given to the homeowners. This gives them a chance to clear their balances inclusive of affordable interests’ rates ranging between 3 and 7 percent.
Upon complete registration, a preliminary assessment is undertaken to prove the authenticity of the details provided. After the verification, the candidates will be issued with a unique identification number to be used to make a contribution to their account in the Housing Fund.
Those who meet the basic qualification criteria will participate in a regular and transparent allocation process for the available houses.
Hinga noted that the allocation of the houses will be carried out once the construction process is begun after which the new homeowner can begin paying at manageable and affordable repayment terms.
“Further to ensure affordability is attained, a system has been worked out so that the monthly contributions will be on a fixed rate over the life of the financing,” said Hinga.
The National Government has already made agreements with 24 counties that have committed to deliver 2,000 affordable houses in the respective counties.
Out of the 24 counties, 5 of them have identified land for the construction of the units and are in the process of alienating the same parcels of land for the rollout of the program in their regions.