Court Allows State to Keep Collecting Housing Levy in New Ruling

The petitioner had lodged the case in March 2024, asserting that the Act unfairly discriminates against corporations.

On Thursday, July 11, a three-judge bench declined to suspend the Housing Levy while a case filed by Magare Gikenyi challenging the Affordable Housing Act, 2024 is heard and determined.

The petitioner had lodged the case in March 2024, asserting that the Act unfairly discriminates against corporations.

Chief Justices John Chigiti, Olga Sewe, and Josephine Mong’are, despite disagreeing with the petitioner’s request for immediate suspension of the levy, directed that the case be expedited.

Gikenyi argued that Section 48(2) of the Act prohibits corporations from owning homes, despite their contributions to the Kenyan economy through taxes.

This, the petitioner contended, goes against the constitutional principles and other existing laws.

Also Read: Ruto’s Trip to India Yields 5 Deals Including Affordable Housing Units

“The public interest, in our view, supports prioritizing the hearing of this petition rather than granting interim orders,” ruled the three-judge bench.

“The application dated April 2 and April 8 is hereby dismissed for lack of merit,” they concluded.

With the suspension of the housing levy pending the case’s determination denied, Kenyans will continue to experience the mandatory deduction of 1.5% from their salaries for the Housing Fund.

In addition to corporate discrimination, Gikenyi argued that not all Kenyans should be obliged to contribute to the Housing Fund, as not everyone desires a home.

The petitioner, a doctor by profession, further contended that Kenyans lack control over the location, architectural style, and mortgage payment arrangements of the houses being developed under the Act.

The government had created a National Housing Development Fund to fund the construction of 250,000 housing units per year, which would be sold to eligible Kenyan citizens at a cost of between Ksh.1 million to Ksh.3.5 million depending on whether they are eligible for social housing, low-cost housing or an affordable mortgage on the open market.

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Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a dynamic journalist currently overseeing content at Metropol TV Digital. With a keen focus on business news and analytics, Lawrence guides the platform in delivering insightful, data-driven content that empowers its audience to make informed decisions. Lawrence’s commitment to quality and his ability to anticipate market trends make him a key figure in the digital media landscape. His work continues to shape the way business news is consumed, making a significant impact in the field.

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