President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, 6th December launched a new housing project under the Affordable Housing Programme initiative. Habitat Heights at Lukenya in Machakos County — one of the Strategic Partners’ projects — will deliver 8,888 units.
Habitat Height is the first project developed under the Memorandum of Understanding between the State Department for Housing and Urban Development and UNOPs in September 2018 to develop 100,000 housing units.
Who will own the units?
The development is one of the projects of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and their partners and will provide housing units to present and retired/past staff members of the various constituent arms of the United Nations, their families, and friends.
is being undertaken by AFRA Holdings Limited through its local subsidiary
Singapura Developers LTD (Kenya) in conjunction with Housing Finance.
Speaking at the launch, President Kenyatta said the government is committed to increasing home-ownership in Kenya.
“The delivery of the houses promoted under the Affordable Housing Programme initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to delivering affordable housing which is one of the Big 4 Agenda priority areas,” the President said.
During the launch, the President also unveiled the roadmap for the development of more houses under a development that is part of a new well-planned city.
“Our UNOPS partners have arranged for funding for these 100,000 units so that homebuyers will access affordable mortgages to purchase their new homes,” President Kenyatta said. “This project alone will inject an estimated USD 5 billion into the economy which affirms Kenya as a worthwhile destination for foreign direct investment (FDI),” the President said.
The President also revealed the government’s efforts to mitigate the high costs of horizontal infrastructure which contributes to the cost of development.
“We decided to make national and county government land available for projects at no cost to potential home buyers. Additionally, we have set aside Ksh30 billion towards infrastructure at the municipal level and have already disbursed Ksh11 billion with the next phase funding to be provided soon,” the President said.
Big 4 Agenda
The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Mr James Macharia said Habitat Height Project is catalytic and being the first major project promoted under the Affordable Housing Programme, it has attracted other investors to participate in the Programme.
“These kinds of projects can’t succeed without strategic partners and we are happy to have more partners come on board,” Mr Macharia said. “Today is a historic day as it demonstrates that the housing agenda is gaining momentum and is on schedule.”
Government is set to enable private developers to construct 500,000 housing units to meet growing demand.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS, Mr. Vitaly Vansheilboim congratulated the government for bringing affordable housing to the forefront. “We will showcase this project across Africa as it demonstrates what a dedicated government can do to the people,” Mr. Vansheilboim said.
State Department of Housing Principal Secretary Mr Charles Hinga said there is a rapid rate of urbanization in Kenya and the need for access to decent and affordable housing is more important than ever.
Machakos County Governor, Hon. Alfred Mutua reiterated the County Government’s commitment to continue facilitating investors to put up affordable houses.
The Affordable Housing Programme is an initiative by the Kenyan Government as one of the pillars under the ‘Big 4 Agenda’ to ensure that low and middle-income households have access to decent and affordable housing.
Under the Programme, the government is set to enable private developers to construct 500,000 housing units to meet the growing demand for houses in the low and middle-income category.
Incentives for house developers
and potential home-buyers under the Affordable Housing Programme are set to
enjoy various incentives including tax breaks as stipulated in the Financial
All the developers who put up at least 400 low-cost residential houses will enjoy a lower corporate tax rate of 15%. Homebuyers will not only enjoy affordable monthly payments tailored to their income, but first-time homebuyers will enjoy a 15% tax benefit on their PAYE. It is expected that this benefit will drive savings towards home-ownership.
The other incentives for developers include:
- Exemption of VAT on importation and local purchase of goods for the construction of houses under the affordable housing scheme.
- Import Declaration Fee retained at 2%. Import Declaration Fees have increased to 3.5% for other imports.
- Railway Development Levy (RDL, Duty) retained at 1.5% for affordable housing imports while for other imports increases to 2%.
- No interest restriction for companies undertaking projects under the affordable housing programme.
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Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11