Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome says focus should shift to the economic and social impact of the government’s affordable housing program.

The CS who is in South Africa for the Affordable Housing Forum said the interventions being made by the government will benefit Kenyans and the country is numerous ways.

“We are promoting economic recovery by linking Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, and Jua Kali sector as suppliers of various inputs such as hinges, doors, and windows among others, to housing projects” she said

According to Hon. Wahome, the program is committed to ensuring that low-income earners are able to own homes through the National Tenant Purchase Scheme or rent-to-own payment options.

“To realize the delivery of adequate, decent, affordable, and sustainable houses across the country without burdening the already overstretched national budget and debt levels, the Government has extensively leveraged private sector participation to fund the development of projects,” she added

She disclosed that the government has a facility in place with the World Bank and Africa Development Bank that will allow homeowners with a single-digit interest rate loan to be repaid over long term through the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company

“We are addressing policy legal impediments that might affect the development of housing across the Nation,” she added

During her speech, the CS told the forum that Kenya, just like most countries, was urbanizing at a rapid rate resulting in the average national annual housing demand estimated at 250,000 units. She said the average national annual housing supply is approximately 50,000 housing units, leading to a deficit of about 200,000 housing units per year and a cumulative backlog of 2 million housing units.

“The Government initiated the Affordable Housing Program that targets the delivery of decent and affordable housing to low and middle-income households. The Program commits to deliver 200,000 housing units per annum, by activating projects across the Nation; as well as increase the number of mortgages from the current 30,000 to 1,000,000 with favorable ownership terms that have monthly repayments of as low as KES.5, 000,” she said.