Win for Kenyans as Ruto's housing Levy is suspended by Court of Appeal 

The national government has given tenants living in six Eastland estates at least 60 days to vacate their houses.

The estates include Jogoo Road Phase I and II, Jamaa, Mbotela, Ahero, Mawenzi Gardens.

This is after Housing PS Charles Hinga in a notice said the estates they live in have been marked for the Affordable Housing Program which is part of the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.

"Pursuant to this, several old estates have been identified for redevelopment to increase rental stock, avail houses for sale to citizens at affordable rates, and create job opportunities for the youth," reads the notice 

As a result, PS Hinga noted that to pave way for the redevelopment of the houses, there is a need to vacate all tenants residing in these Government estates immediately.

The tenants are required to prepare and surrender the houses they occupy to the director of Estate Management in vacant possession on or before April 30, 2024.

However, the vacation will only be allowed after the tenants have cleared all the outstanding rent arrears, utility bills and service charges.

Those tenants who would have vacated the six estates will be accorded priority to purchase or rent a house once the redevelopment is complete.

The AHP has been billed as a programme that will solve the country's housing crisis while providing jobs to about a million people a year.

The housing pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda not only aims to improve the quality of life for people but also serves as an economic stimulus, promoting enterprise growth and job creation.

In the 2023-24 financial year, the government allocated Sh35.2 billion towards the Housing program.

The government has also mobilised resources to support the construction of affordable housing units and social housing units.

As part of the housing budget, Sh3.2 billion will go towards the affordable housing programme.

The overall target by the President is to construct 200,000 affordable housing units annually which will create between 600,000 and one million jobs each year.

However, the project has suffered some setbacks.

The High Court on November 28, 2023, declared the Housing Levy illegal citing various reasons including that it was discriminatory as it secluded workers in the informal sector.

The three-judge bench, however, stayed the execution of the orders until January 10, 2024, pending the filing of an application for conservatory orders to stay the decision and allow the government to continue collecting the levy.

But on January 26, the Appellate court dismissed the application and reaffirmed the High Court’s ruling that the 1.5 per cent Housing Levy which is meant to finance the affordable housing programme is illegal.