Senate Passes Affordable Housing Bill

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Senate Passes Affordable Housing Bill

The Affordable Housing Bill was approved by the Senate on Tuesday evening, clearing the path for it to reach President William Ruto’s desk.

The Kenya Kwanza government achieved a big legislative success when the bill, which encountered substantial opposition, especially from parliamentarians in the opposition camp, gained 27 affirmative votes, with only 10 senators opposing it.

No abstentions were documented during the sessions.

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The significant development occurred when Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot proposed that the Act be read for a third time, a strategic action that eventually ensured its approval in the chamber.

Prior to its passage, the measure faced legal obstacles, prompting the intervention of the High Court in Kisumu.

The court verdict exonerated Parliament of any culpability in the implementation of public engagement about the law. The court’s ruling removed any obstacles for the Senate to deliberate on the proposal without hindrance.

“The court’s ruling validates the comprehensive approach taken by Parliament in ensuring public participation,” remarked Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah. “It underscores the necessity of effective engagement with the public in shaping legislation that impacts their lives.”

The Affordable Housing Bill aims to establish a 1.5 percent housing fee on both salaried and income-earning individuals in Kenya.

The purpose of this levy is to produce revenue for affordable housing programmes throughout the entire country.

The law had earlier been approved by the National Assembly amidst intense disagreement, which led to a large number of opposition MPs leaving the session.

The High Court’s judgement underscored the significance of strong public involvement in the legislative process, emphasising its role in prioritising initiatives that focus on the well-being of individuals and validating government activities.

Lawrence Omule Apiyo, in his role as the petitioner in the court case, contested the sufficiency of public involvement in the design of the bill.

Nevertheless, the court determined that the National Assembly had successfully carried out thorough and legally acceptable public involvement over the issue.

“The court’s ruling affirms that the public had ample opportunity to contribute to the development of this legislation,” stated Apiyo. “While we may have had concerns about the process, it’s clear that the court has validated Parliament’s efforts in this regard.”

The National Assembly justified its management of public involvement by highlighting its comprehensive endeavours to involve individuals through means other than just the submission of memoranda.

The court concurred that the petitioner’s case was premature, since it presumed a limited construal of public participation methodologies.

The Affordable Housing Bill will now be sent to President Ruto for his consideration. Once he adds his signature, the document will be legally binding.

In Other News: Babu Owino Declares War With Raila Over Joho And Oparanya’s Endorsement

Senate Passes Affordable Housing Bill

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