The Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing, and Urban Development has announced a 10% increase in rent for government residential houses. In a letter from Housing PS Charles Hinga to Treasury counterpart Chris Kiptoo, dated September 28, the government stated that these new rates will be effective from November 1, 2023.
This move follows earlier proposals made by the State Department in 2021. The government’s objective is to generate additional revenue for the department, as rent rates for government housing have remained unchanged since 2001. This adjustment aligns with discussions held in a meeting on September 22, 2023, to enhance Appropriation In Aid (AIA) for the State Department.
“It was noted then, that the rent rates have stagnated since 2001 for most Government Housing, therefore it remains an avenue that can increase Appropriation In Aid (AIA) for the State Department in line with the observations made in the meeting held on 22nd September 2023 with you on enhancing AIA for the State Department,” read the statement.
The impact of this rent increase will primarily affect civil servants who rent government-run housing provided by various institutions and agencies. Government housing offers more affordable rates compared to privately-owned properties. Consequently, this change will have an impact on many Kenyans already grappling with the rising cost of living in recent years.
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The rent increase coincides with the government’s efforts to raise funds for affordable housing projects across the country. The government’s ambitious goal is to construct 200,000 houses annually nationwide. Employees are already facing a monthly deduction of 1.5% from their salaries to support these initiatives. This move represents a significant step as the government seeks to address housing challenges while also bolstering its financial resources.