Nairobians to Benefit from Ksh224M County Rent Waiver

  • Apartment buildings in Nairobi Kenya.
    Apartment buildings in Nairobi Kenya.
    File
  • Thousands of Nairobians drowning in rent arrears are set to benefit from a Ksh224 Million waiver from City Hall on all county-owned homes.

    The move comes after the tenants raised concerns about constantly being threatened with evictions due to the outstanding rent balances.

    County Finance Executive Allan Igambi noted that the process of compiling a list of the beneficiaries is completed, awaiting an official gazette as per the City County Tax Waiver Administration Act of 2013.

    Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko rejects the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2020 on Thursday, October 15.
    Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko rejects the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2020 on Thursday, October 15.
    File

    "The process to write off rent arrears owned by tenants in the county rental houses is ongoing in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act if 2012, Section 1589 (a) (c) and Nairobi County Tax Waiver Administration Act of 2013.

    "The waiver will be written off the county books once the above process is complete as it is now in the final stages," he said.

    Igambi added that only tenants with rent arrears that had accumulated from Wednesday, May 1, 2019, would receive demand notices.

    The waiver targeted tenants with arrears due to the negative financial impact of Covid-19 and to put an end to the county houses being used by cartels who evict tenants and let in new ones at a fee.

    Nairobi Housing Director Marion Rono revealed that over 16,000 tenants owe City Hall Ksh224 Million, a debt that has accrued in over six years.

    Back in October, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko extended rent waiver for tenants residing in City County Government houses for six more months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    "My attention has been drawn to the outcry of a majority of tenants occupying residential houses belonging to the Nairobi City County Government, following persistent harassment by officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) over rent arrears.

    "I do hereby extend the waiver earlier granted for a period of a further six (6) months from the date of this letter, as our residents continue to recover economically from the effects the Covid-19 pandemic," noted the Governor.

    Director-General Mohamed Badi, however, stated that Sonko's waiver was illegitimate as housing was among the four transferred functions.

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    Nairobi Metropolitan Services boss Mohamed Badi addresses President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 30, 2020, at Harambee House Nairobi while releasing a report of his first 100 days in office
    PSCU