The Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company approximates that there are only 21,000 mortgages in the country with the clock ticking towards President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise of providing at least 500,000 affordable housing units to Kenyans.
Experts say that the new mortgage regulation, if well-implemented regulation, will bring about affordability for Kenyans hence leading towards the realization of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda in housing.
“The mortgage loan regulation is a good incentive for members to save knowing that as much as they are saving for their long-term objective, retirement, there is an immediate intervention when they want to acquire a house for themselves,” said Octagon Africa Group Chief Executive Officer Fred Waswa.
“Trustees of pension schemes will need to amend their investment policy statements taking into consideration new liquidity requirements,” he added.
The Mortgage Regulation 2020 stipulates that the funds accessed can only be used on a dwelling house for residential purposes with members accessing up to 40 percent of the accrued benefits, capped at 7 million shillings.
“We must work together as industry players and be deliberate about expanding the dream of homeownership to even more people. As a country, we have the lowest mortgage to GDP ratio in the world,” said Principal Secretary, State Department for Housing and Urban Development Mr. Charles Hinga Mwaura.
“We must therefore be deliberate in our efforts and work diligently to promote affordable housing, more so homeownership which is a dream to 97 percent of people, especially to people of low income,” he added.
The reason why the vast majority of Nairobi Metropolitan residents live in substandard housing, without reliable power, without reliable water and comprehensive lifestyle amenities is mainly due to lack of capital to put up large-scale developments.
Kenya has a housing deficit of 2,000,000 houses. The deficit has been growing at 200,000 annually. This has led to the mushrooming of informal settlements in major urban areas in Kenya as people seek affordable ways to have a roof over their heads.