Boma Yangu: How to Register & Apply for Affordable Housing Programme

  • The government has come up with a platform that allows you to start your journey towards home ownership.

    The program, known as Affordable Housing Programme (AHP), seeks to make affordable housing available for all Kenyans.

    This article will take you through everything you need to know in order to achieve your home ownership goals.

    What is the Affordable Housing Programme?

    The Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) is an initiative by government as one of the pillars under the ‘Big 4 Agenda’ which ensures that low and middle income households have access to decent and affordable housing units.

    The Affordable Houses will be financed and built by private developers on both private and national and county government land.

    The AHP differs from other housing schemes in Kenya as it is the first comprehensive program in which the Government of Kenya seeks to use private sector funding to facilitate provision of homes to Kenyans in the lower and middle income brackets.

    It provides accessible and affordable financing options for potential homeowners using the National Tenant Purchase Scheme (NTPS) method where users will pay an affordable monthly payment.

    Once the houses are built, the Housing Fund will purchase the units from the private developers and offer them to its members.

    The Affordable Housing Programme is intended to address the housing needs of the following income brackets:

    1. Social - Up to Kshs 19, 999

    2. Low Cost - Kshs 20, 000 - Kshs 49, 999

    3. Mortgage Gap - Kshs 50, 000 - Kshs 149, 999

    What is the Government’s role in the AHP?

    The main role of the Government is primarily that of a facilitator that is one that aims to create an enabling environment for a private sector-led solution that will ensure that the ambitious and capital intensive programme becomes a reality. This will be done through several interventions such as:

    1. Provision of state-owned land

    2. Delivery of bulk infrastructure to the sites where the housing units are earmarked for development; including access roads and transportation network, power, water and sewerage

    3. One stop-shop to streamline and fast-track statutory approvals; including transfer of titles and architectural drawings amongst others

    4. Offering tax incentives: Registered persons will be eligible for a tax credit equivalent to the lower of the tax payable or the amount contributed, subject to a maximum of Kes 9,000 per month.

    Self-employed persons who register as members are also eligible for the tax credit.

    Voluntary contributions will attract the same tax relief. For employed persons, the employer will incorporate the deductions and tax credit in the payroll while the self-employed persons will take a credit when computing their tax liability.

    The government will also waive stamp duty for first time home owners;

    5. The Government is also working at other legislative and policy reforms required to further level the playing field

    6. The Government has also produced and published the Development Framework Guidelines which provide a qualitative guidance on how the AHP will be implemented, how projects will be prioritized and programmed and how developers/investors will be engaged.

    It further addresses the financing framework, the urban and building design standards, environmental and social safeguards as wellas other important elements of the project delivery framework

    7. The development strategy for the AHP also integrates quality assurance and oversight as projects are being developed. The Government will ensure that the standards articulated in our laws as well as the DFGs are adhered to.

    The application process

    Individuals interested in buying Affordable Houses under AHP will first have to register on the affordable housing portal, either online or on their mobile phones.

    All applicants will need to be a citizen of Kenya with a valid national ID number.There is no fee for applying. It is absolutely free. Applicants will have to be at least 18 years of age

    Begin making contributions to the Housing Fund and select their housing preference from the available or upcoming housing stock.

    Once registered and contributing to the Housing Fund, applicants who qualify will participate in a Regular and Transparent Allocation process for the available houses.

    Allocation of homes

    Home allocation under this programme is fair and transparent.

    The system allocates houses to qualified applicants without any human intervention.

    Members will be asked to indicate their preferred location (by county) of a house and will then be provided with information on the type of home they qualify for based on their income, required deposit payments and be provided with information on the projected monthly TPS payments.

    Homes will be allocated through a randomised balloting-type allocation system, which means that potential owners will be selected from the waiting list of registered pre-qualified, eligible applicants.

    Allocation processing will be announced on the Housing Portal and through other communication outlets. Allocation will only be carried out for projects that are going live and will be done upon commencement of the construction.

    The weighted pre-qualification criteria will include factors such as:

    1. Income

    2. Household status (priority to families)

    3. Current assets owned

    4. Vulnerable groups 

    5. Accumulated deposit

    6. First come - first serve basis

    Note: In the event that an applicant is not allocated a house in an initial allocation, their name will be put on a waiting list and the applicant will have a higher likelihood of allocation on subsequent developments.

    The waiting list ensures that those who might have missed out on an initial allocation get priority.

    Regular and timely updates on upcoming projects shall be given on the affordable housing portal and other platforms such as daily newspapers, radio and at your nearest, Huduma Center.

    What type and size of houses are offered under AHP?

    The AHP homes will comprise of houses ranging from one-bedroom to three-bedroom units with varying sizes depending on the locations and the needs analysis.

    The unit typologies are as follows:

    Type                    Size                   Price

    One Bedroom     30 sqmKshs     1, 000, 000

    Two Bedroom     40 sqmKshs     2, 000, 000

    Three Bedroom  60 sqmKshs     3, 000, 000

    Social Housing:

    Type                     Price

    One Room           Kshs 600, 000

    Two Room           Kshs 1, 000, 000

    Three Room        Kshs 1, 350, 000

    Who are the targeted beneficiaries?

    The AHP mainly targets Kenyans in the low and middle income brackets who have previously been excluded from owning decent homes due to the prohibitive costs and stringent financing requirements.

    Further, members can access other options such as through the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC).

    The KMRC will provide liquidity and longer-term financing to Kenyan banks and SACCOs with the aim of increasing the volume and tenor of residential mortgages as well as availability of fixed rate mortgages.

    This is expected to improve the affordability of mortgages, increase the number of qualifying borrowers, and result in the expansion of the primary mortgage market and home ownership in Kenya.

    There are also opportunities for the civil servants to own homes under the AHP.

    For example, civil servants get first right to 30% of all units coming online while the police and the disciplined forces will get the first right to 20% of units.

    They are therefore encouraged to register in earnest and take advantage of their house allowances to get a better house.

    What are the contributions requirements?

    Mandatory contributions are capped at KES 2,500 per month per employee and employer. However, voluntary contributions are not capped.

    Spousal and joint contributions can be made towards the ownership of one house at a time although there is still an option to apply for a house individually. Joint contributions increase the couple’s chances to get their house within a shorter time.

    The savings will earn a return based on the overall return of the Housing Fund. Returns on member’s contributions will be announced by the board on an annual basis.

    Members will be able to monitor their contributions via the affordable housing portal.

    Contributions to the Housing Fund can be accessed on the sooner of 15 years after a member’s first contribution or the attainment of retirement age.

    Note: You cannot withdraw your voluntary contribution at any time. All contributions to the Housing Fund will be subject to the same withdrawal rules.

    If your income changes, contribution made towards the Housing Fund would be adjusted proportionately to reflect the change in a member’s income.

    Tenants Purchase scheme

    The amount payable for the house will depend on the type of house selected and allocated. The monthly payments will be determined after taking into account the amount of deposit paid and the desired payment period. The typical payment period will be at least 25 years.

    The payments shall be made monthly and will be fixed over the life of the financing.

    A member is only entitled to one house under the Affordable Housing Program.

    The Housing Fund will provide long-term affordable loan to members that qualify and are allocated an affordable house under a long term Tenant Purchase Scheme.

    You can buy a house if you have no credit history or regular income.However, the applicant will have to prove that they can make their regular monthly loan repayments.

    In case a tenant falls behind on their payments, every case will be looked at on a case by case basis.The payment terms are designed to be affordable and flexible, geared towards helping you secure your home.

    A member cannot dispose of their house to the open market before 8 years have lapsed. However, before the 8 years are over, they have the option to sell it back to the Housing Fund and retain their equity build up.

    In case you need advice, information and guidance shall be provided through the official communication channels on the State Department for Housing and Urban Development. You can also get information on social media platforms and on the Affordable Housing website.

    Incomes will be accessed either individually or jointly depending on if the application is made individually or jointly. If an application is made jointly, the house title will be issued in the name of all the joint applicants.

    In the event of death, the housing unit can be transferred to the registered next of kin.

    AHP will also provide massive opportunities, especially those working in the informal sector.

    It is estimated that the project will provide 350,000 jobs for both skilled and unskilled workers over a four-year period. The whole project is estimated to cost Ksh 1.5 trillion.