Ruto Announces Date When He Will Sign Housing Bill Into Law

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Ruto Announces Date When He Will Sign Housing Bill Into Law

Employers and employees nationwide should begin making arrangements for the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Housing Bill 2023, which is expected to be enacted on Monday, March 18.

During a visit to Bomet on Saturday, March 16, President William Ruto expressed his commitment to enact the bill, thereby conferring upon the government the power to recommence the execution of the Housing Programme in accordance with the legal framework.

The proposed legislation seeks to restore the housing initiative initiated by the President through the implementation of a 1.5 percent tax on employees’ total earnings.

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Upon approval, the implementation of housing levy deductions, together with other modifications, may occur as early as the conclusion of March 2024, subject to confirmation.

“On Monday, I will be signing into law the Affordable Housing Bill,” President Ruto announced during his tour.

The bill encountered various obstacles throughout its passage through Parliament. Kimani Ichung’wah, the Majority Leader of the National Assembly, provided President Ruto with reassurance over Parliament’s dedication to guaranteeing the prompt deduction of the housing levy from the paychecks of Kenyan workers in March.

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“We took the Housing Levy to Parliament and they passed it. I want to thank MPs,” Ichung’wah expressed his gratitude to the parliamentary team.

Ichung’wah emphasised the importance of signing the measure into law in mid-March, emphasising the necessity of enacting it prior to enterprises commencing their payroll processes.

“As soon as the bill is signed into law, deductions will resume and be made in accordance with the new Affordable Housing Act,” Ichung’wah remarked.

The bill’s implementation makes the continuing legal dispute about the legitimacy of the charge, which is based on the Finance Act 2023, irrelevant. Nevertheless, the execution of the new Act may face potential legal hurdles.

The measure was presented to Parliament in December of the previous year as a response to a High Court decision that deemed the previous housing levy to be unjust and in violation of the constitution.

The recently enacted legislation expands the scope of the levy beyond the salaries of formal sector employees and introduces the Affordable Housing Fund, which will be supervised by a board of directors.

In addition, the proposed legislation incorporates County Affordable Housing Committees as a means to promote local engagement in the initiative, recognising housing as a decentralised responsibility.

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Under the rules of the bill, individuals who have saved for housing but have not been assigned a home can now request refunds or choose an inexpensive mortgage.

President Ruto’s housing programme is characterised by its ambitious goal of constructing 200,000 affordable units on a yearly basis, hence providing a substantial number of employment opportunities. The allocation of Sh73 billion in the current fiscal year’s budget by the government is intended to provide support for this project.

With the imminent implementation of the Affordable Housing Bill of 2023, Kenya’s housing sector is expected to undergo substantial transformations, impacting both businesses and workers.

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Ruto Announces Date When He Will Sign Housing Bill Into Law

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