14 November 2018

Kenya: Urithi Pushes for Co-Operatives Housing Revolving Fund

Urithi Housing Finance Cooperative Society has asked the government to create a revolving fund from which groups can borrow to build homes for members.

Samuel Maina, the chairman, proposed Sh40 billion seed capital for the government to lend to housing societies, payable by members who own the houses.

"There is no sense in taxing people to build houses with no guarantee that the taxed will benefit," said Mr Maina. He said the only way the government can achieve its affordable housing agenda is by assisting Kenyans own houses of their choice, which can only be achieved through housing cooperative societies.

The government has come up with the Kenya Mortgage Refinance company to drive its housing agenda through a housing levy. Urithi is proposing government funds housing co-operative societies in form of long-term loans and the societies establish mortgage schemes where repayment through instalments from members will be used to service loans.

Mr Maina said the arrangement has minimal risks since "it is rare that you find clients defaulting on mortgages." The country's cumulative housing shortage stands at two million units and reportedly grows by 200,000 annually, according to the National Housing Corporation (NHC).

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