BD: UN-Habitat is pushing the government to come up with a policy to help Savings and Co-operatives Organisations (saccos) accelerate home ownership amongst low-income earners.

Senior human settlements officer Thomas Chiramba Wednesday said the government should come up with a structured mechanism to ensure Saccos access land and professional expertise on affordable houses.

“What the co-operative movement in Kenya needs is a little support, a structured support on how they can access land, as well as engage professionals in the entire process so that they are not cheated or make wrong decisions,” Mr Chiramba said in Nairobi during Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (Kara) bi-monthly talk series forum on affordable housing.

The over 23,000 saccos had close to Sh1 trillion in savings with about Sh700 billion worth of assets in 2017. Some 800 housing societies had Sh8 billion in savings and had constructed 10,000 housing units.
Mr Chiramba further said reducing tax on building materials will ease the cost of building if well managed, leading to increase in provision of affordable housing.

UN-Habitat wants the government to focus more on serviced land delivery as this will create a good space for developers and individuals to contribute to housing.

Already, the government has proposed a raft of amendments to various pieces of legislation to help affordable housing delivery. They are under the Stamp Duty Act, Income Tax, and Sectional Property Act.