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Ruto vouches for Housing Fund in Madaraka Day speech

President William Ruto used his Madaraka Day speech to convince Kenyans to accept the contentious Finance Bill.

In his address to Kenyans at the Embu stadium on the day Kenyans attained self rule, the Head of State emphasised his support for the Housing Fund.

President Ruto said the fund not only has the capacity to transform the housing landscape for marginalized communities but also provide financial assistance to those struggling to afford decent housing, allowing them to save towards the purchase or construction of their own homes.

The tax aims to establish a Housing Fund that would enable low-income earners, such as small-scale vendors (commonly referred to as “mama mbogas”), to realize their dream of homeownership while also generating employment opportunities.

“The Affordable Housing Programme aims to enable mama mboga access and afford a mortgage and embark on a feasible journey towards home ownership. Beyond the cost of houses, the programme therefore entails an entitlement aspect, which gives priority to the communities resident where the projects are situated. This way, the housing programme will raise the bar in terms of quality at the bottom,” the President said.

President Ruto highlighted the positive impact the Housing Tax could have on the economy, stating the initiative would stimulate job creation in the construction sector. He asserted that the increased demand for housing projects would result in the hiring of skilled and unskilled laborers, thus driving economic growth and reducing unemployment rates.

“The third objective of the Affordable Housing Programme is human dignity, and entails the liberation of millions of people who live in unhygienic environments without proper sanitation. We did not fight for independence to relegate our innocent compatriots to a life of suffering, exclusion and indignity in slums,” Said the president

The President’s endorsement of the Housing Tax has faced significant public opposition. Critics argue the tax would burden individuals and families already struggling with the high cost of living, exacerbating their financial hardships. Concerns have been raised about the feasibility of implementing such a tax during a time of economic uncertainty, with many arguing that alternative solutions should be explored to address the housing crisis.

Social media platforms and public forums have been abuzz with heated discussions on the topic, with citizens expressing their dissenting views on the proposed Housing Tax. Critics claim that the government should focus on reducing housing costs, implementing affordable housing schemes, and ensuring access to adequate infrastructure and basic services before introducing new taxes.

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