The government now says the proposed contributions to the Housing Fund are not mandatory.

President William Ruto on Sunday, April 23, said employees will be required to contribute 3 per cent of their salaries towards the national housing scheme.

Speaking during a church service at Donholm in Nairobi, Ruto said the contributions would help Kenyans access affordable housing.

The declaration elicited criticism from civil servants who opposed the plans to slash their pay. Through their unions, the workers said they were not consulted.

However, reacting to the uproar, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga revealed that the salary deductions would be voluntary.

“He (President Ruto) did not say we shall deduct the money tomorrow. He said that civil servants can elect to start contributions. If you contribute Ksh10,000, the government gives you another Ksh10,000 as your money.

“That is what the President meant. It is voluntary as we speak. It is not mandatory,” Hinga said during an interview with KTN News.

While emphasizing the benefits of the initiative, the PS noted that members would be refunded their monies if they failed to secure a house.

“The other question people who own homes ask themselves is why they should contribute, yet they have homes. We are asking you to save money so that we solve this social problem of housing,” PS Hinga said.

“After seven years and you have not gotten a house, you have the right to pull out the money and transfer it to your pension.”

Ruto, who did not indicate when the deductions will take effect said that the government will be the first to implement the Housing Fund plan for over 700,000 civil servants.

“As a government, we will be at the forefront in implementing this. For all employees of the government – approximately 700,000 – we will be saving 3 per cent for them after they have made their own 3 per cent contribution,” he added.


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