By Arch Dr. Isaac Kinungi- for The Diaspora Times
Mencken said, “Worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top, there is no limit to oppression and exploitation”.
Some talks defy logic and comprehension, but when the Government lies in broad daylight about its commitments to providing affordable housing to every hustler or worker in Kenya (when the same hustlers are barely surviving with shaky employments that are not long lasting), that becomes like a joke taken too far.
The proposed affordable housing in every County, especially within Nairobi City, is purely a Scam whose only purpose is minting money by selfish rich people in Government and the private sector who will eventually own such schemes. Scam because the same to low-income people with no permanent job, is not an economically viable undertaking- but a lifetime and beyond stressful liability. It may also be a well-calculated scheme by the rich to acquire vacant land within the City or Counties to later build other commercial facilities.
If you recall, NHC had similar houses around the Kibera area, which ended up being bought by rich people in Government- then you can as well guess the same will eventually happen. Still, the same NHC has various low cost-housing units in other parts of Kenya that have not been fully sold till this day- meaning that the demand for such, while targeting the poor, is not that high.
The many projects proposed within the City upon the availability of land have been done without even considering how many buyers in the targeted group will be interested. No factual feasibility studies have been done, and the Government is assuming that all workers have no homes of their own. In contrast, many have bought and constructed their own houses within the Satellites Nairobi Cities.
If you consider places like Kitengela, Ngong, Kawangware, Kangemi and other Satellite Towns, not far from Nairobi City- the majority of the dwellers live in their own houses, which they completed without even taking loans in the first place.
Many in the Diaspora, have also built houses for their working parents who commute to work and hence don’t need the said affordable houses.
Most people, especially from Western Kenya, prefer retiring back home and a majority have already completed constructing permanent homes and hence- will not be part of such schemes.
The Government is saying that the target will be hustlers who will be remitting amounts as low as Ksh 300 a month. That is a big joke if you calculate how long a Ksh 1.5 million loan can take. In such a scenario, the hustler will take 400-plus years to repay the loan; all it means is that another hustler will take over the same house—a vicious zero-sum game hustle without end continues.
Then how can the targeted group benefit from such schemes and enjoy their retirement in the said houses? All it means is that the proposed deductions will only benefit future users who will enter the same conniving puzzle without end. In Kenya, middle and upper-middle-income groups no longer exist because a majority barely survive due to the high cost of living.
In the end, it means that the said affordable houses would lack the targeted buyers and end up being bought by wealthy families who will turn the same into rental use. Therefore, the said affordable houses are a massive scam that will only benefit a few well-to-do individuals.