ODM leader Raila Odinga expressed support for the government’s affordable housing plan but criticized its design and execution. Speaking in an interview with Meru-based Mwariama FM, Raila claimed to be the pioneer of the affordable housing and slum upgrading program.

Raila, who had designed the country’s housing strategy during his tenure as the Minister for Roads, Transport, and Housing, benchmarked abroad in countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore before the introduction of affordable housing and slum upgrading programs in Kenya.

He clarified that the original vision for affordable housing was not to compel people to buy homes but to improve housing standards in informal settlements without imposing heavy taxes or repayment plans. Raila suggested allowing willing buyers to pay a deposit for a house instead of imposing universal taxes.

Raila criticized the Kenya Kwanza government for failing to adequately explain the affordable housing program to the public before its rollout, leading to confusion and protests among the people.

He emphasized the need for a national conference to build trust and understanding among Kenyans before implementing such significant policy changes. Raila advocated for tailored housing designs based on regional and individual needs rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Despite Raila’s critique, President William Ruto remains committed to the affordable housing program, facing legal challenges as the court has halted the 1.5% levy on payslips due to cases filed by Kenyans.

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