A section of real estate developers, on Thursday, May 25, supported President William Ruto's plan to impose a 3 per cent levy on workers to support the Affordable Housing Programme.
The developers lauded Ruto's project for addressing the high cost of purchasing land and other hidden charges incurred during construction.
Besides reducing the burden of land purchase, they argued that developers could start the construction process through the initiative without facing different tax regimes and policies that slowed down the building process.
"I think it is important as it lowers the cost of purchase, factoring in the cost of construction and the land buying element. Because initially, the cost of purchasing land in Nairobi was high, which affected property ownership," a developer stated during a media interview.
They, however, implored the government to reduce the cost of building materials in the country.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Collins Maroa, a Chacha Real Estate Company realtor, indicated that some developers supported the 3 per cent deduction because the money collected guaranteed their investment.
He explained the levy assured them of a return on investment in the affordable housing sector.
"The money, as I understand it, would be used as a guarantee to developers who invest in the affordable housing programme. The money assures them that they will recover the money after partnering with the government to build up the houses," the realtor told Kenyans.co.ke.
Maroa added that the partnership between the government and different development partners had reduced the burden of finding tenants. He noted that through the Boma Yangu platform, Kenyans from low-income areas and informal settlements would apply and occupy the units after construction.
Additionally, the realtor insisted that the partnership with the national government was granting developers ready labour as President Ruto directed contractors to employ locals in constructing steel doors and windows.
However, some real estate proprietors noted that some landlords were weary of the plan. He noted that the uptake of the houses would aggravate the already struggling rental housing sector.
"In the long run, developers with units and landlords will start feeling the heat because no one would want to rent their units, yet they can afford to buy a house," Maroa stated.
"The government needs to look at that sector even if it means making deals to ensure they stay in business when the affordable housing agenda gains momentum," he added.