President Ruto defends proposed 3% housing levy, calls it 'mortgage for hustlers'

President Ruto defends proposed 3% housing levy, calls it 'mortgage for hustlers'

President William Ruto at the Ground-Breaking Ceremony of Bellevue Park Residences Project on May 11, 2023. PHOTO| COURTESY

President William Ruto has strongly defended his controversial three per cent housing levy calling it a mortgage for hustlers.

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed Bellevue Park residences affordable housing project in South C, Nairobi, the president dismissed claims that the levy was a tax terming it a contribution and at the same time a saving.

President Ruto told off critics of his contentious levy saying his critics were themselves beneficiaries of mortgages who were now out to deny low-income workers an opportunity to live in decent homes.

“Sio lazima uwe na mapato kiwango Fulani… Tunataka hata yule mtu ambaye analipa rent ya shilingi elfu tano aweze kulipa mortage baada ya miaka kumi na tano awe na nyumba yake,” said Ruto.

“The contribution you make in the housing fund is not a tax…sio ushuru, ni pesa yako, si pesa ya ushuru. It is the shillings that will become thousands, millions, and billions and that is the money we are going to use to build affordable housing,” added the President.

The Head of State accused critics of his housing levy proposal of misleading Kenyans and ultimately, seeking to deny low-income Kenyans a chance to own homes.

“Every leader, MP and MCA has a mortgage. Sasa tafadhali tupange ya hao wananchi tutapanga hapo kwa housing fund. Kama wewe ni mtu unawakilisha wafanyikazi na wewe hutaki huyo mfanyikazi awe na nafasi awe na nyumba, apatiwe na tajiri yake pesa ya kununua nyumba... wewe ni mfanyikazi ama umenunuliwa na tajiri utetee haki ya tajiri badala ya mfanyikazi?,” posed Ruto.

The Bellevue project will have 2,356 units creating employment for at least 5000 Kenyans with the president stating that his administration intended to construct 200,000 units annually up from 50,000.

It is not the first time the fund is being proposed. A similar attempt during the reign of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta was opposed by Members of Parliament and even representatives of workers' unions.


President Ruto Housing Levy

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