Kenya: Court Bars State From Implementing Housing Levy

Construction of civil servants' houses in Kisumu County (file photo).

The High Court has extended orders barring the government from implementing the 1.5 percent housing levy until May 27.

The order was issued on Monday by Justice Maureen Onyango in Nairobi to allow for the consolidation of the various cases filed against the plan.

HOUSING FUND

The government planned to take 1.5 percent of workers' gross salary in the formal sector to set up a housing fund.

But various parties-- including the Central Organisation of Trade Union, Trade Union Congress of Kenya, Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) and the Federation of Kenyan Employers -- filed suits challenging the levy.

The Labour court on April 17 gave orders temporarily stopping the government from implementing the levy to allow the consolidation of the current case by Cofek.

PUBLIC NOTICE

The government had in April issued a public notice directing employers to deduct and remit the levy by the 9th of every month.

"The Housing Fund shall be used to finance the Affordable Housing Scheme under the Big 4 Agenda," the notice reads.

The Jubilee administration is keen on the project as housing is one of the four pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda.

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