Government house tenants to pay higher rent from April

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Government’s affordable housing units on Park Road, Ngara. [Courtesy]

Tenants living in government residential houses will pay higher monthly rent rates starting April 1, 2022, after the State reviewed its charges.

Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga, in a communication to his Treasury counterpart Julius Muia, said the decision factors inflation.

The last rent review by the government was conducted in 2001, Hinga said.

“… there has been piecemeal reviews to bring onboard newly completed projects. Notice is hereby given that effective April 1, 2022, rent from all government residential houses will be increased by 10 per cent of the prevailing rates,” he said in the letter dated January 18.

“It is important to note that there have been several reviews on house allowance for civil servants since 2001, but rent applicable to houses they occupy has remained largely the same over the said period,” said the PS.

Hinga says the upward rent review won’t significantly impact the civil servants’ monthly budget.

“This review will still be below the market rate since the government residential houses are part of employer-assisted housing for civil servants.”

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that 61 per cent of Kenyans own their homes.

Only three per cent of those homeowners actually bought the houses, while 93 per cent of homeowners built their own houses and three per cent inherited them.

The 2019 census shows that 39 per cent of Kenyan households, comprising about 15 million people, are in urban areas. Ninety-one (91) per cent of city dwellers are renters, government data shows.

The country has only about 27,000 mortgages, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.

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