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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya mulls regulatory incentives to boost investments in housing

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya will soon unveil a raft of regulatory incentives to boost private sector investments in low cost homes amid huge deficit, an official said on Wednesday.

Charles Hinga, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Housing, said an overhaul of archaic policy and regulatory framework will pave way for robust private sector participation in development of affordable shelter in Kenya’s burgeoning cities and rural towns.

“We are finalizing reforms in the regulations and policies governing the real estate sector to encourage greater private sector engagement in helping us achieve the Big Four Agenda on housing,” Hinga said in Nairobi.

“Local and foreign investors are being encouraged to invest in housing projects that promise returns as the national government set up supportive infrastructure,” he added.

The PS spoke during a roundtable discussion on the Big Four housing agenda organized by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

Senior policy makers and industry executives who attended the roundtable agreed that regulatory incentives were key to attract capital that is required to develop homes for the low-income population segment.

“The private sector should seize opportunities created by tax waivers announced by the President recently to stimulate investments in the housing sector,” said Hinga.

Kenya has an annual housing demand estimated at 250,000 units but the supply stands at 50,000 due to under-investments in the sector linked to haphazard regulation, political uncertainties and low purchasing power.

Hinga said enactment of progressive laws and adoption of alternative building technologies will help Kenya tackle a housing deficit of 1.9 million units.

Kiprono Kittony, the Chairman of KNCCI, said innovative financing coupled with subsidized cost of land and development of supportive infrastructure is key to boost home ownership in the East Africa’s largest economy.

             

 

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