Housing principal secretary, (PS) Charles Hinga, on Tuesday, June 6, announced that the Housing Fund would be amended to reflect the diverse views of different stakeholders.
While appearing before the National Assembly's Finance Committee, the PS emphasised that changes would be made to the fund, which comprises a 3 per cent monthly deduction, to benefit Kenyans.
Hinga was tasked to explain how the fund would boost home ownership with the controversy surrounding it. Kenyans were said to have doubted the project from the onset, with the government's public awareness strategies falling short of their target.
"We may disagree on the approach and there are contentious issues in the Bill that need to be cured and I hope this Committee will do so," Hinga stated.
"We can correct it, but let's not lose focus of why we are advocating for it. We are doing this because we have reached a reckoning point," he added.
He urged the committee to defend the fund contained in the Finance Bill and amend it before the Second Reading, without shutting down the levy.
According to the PS, if a contributor is fired, he or she would access the funds after retirement. He thus emphasised that it was not a tax but a levy championed by President William Ruto.
Hinga explained that one of the changes he was pushing for was including all Kenyans eligible for contribution and receiving houses. He clarified claims that the fund would only be contributed to by employed Kenyans.
"If you are a parent but you already have a home, you may want to contribute for the sake of your child," he urged.
President Ruto defended the deduction on May 11, arguing that he was keen on fulfilling his campaign promises to Kenyans.
Ruto further criticised leaders opposing the fund despite using it to consolidate votes during the campaign period.
"We went everywhere during campaigns and told Kenyans that there was a housing plan that would give people opportunities for employment and allow them to own homes," the President stated on Sunday, June 4, at a Thanksgiving service in Narok.
He thus dared MPs to oppose the project, threatening to track them down. His remarks, however, did not augur well with the opposition, which threatened to recall mass protests if the housing fund and the controversial Finance Bill 2023 pass.