Housing PS Charles Hinga has called on the government and Members of Parliament consider introducing idle land tax to free up land for development.

Hinga asked for serious talks on land issues by all relevant stakeholders to ensure more land is released to help the government achieve its development agenda.

The Housing Principal Secretary was speaking during an induction retreat for members of the Senate Committee on Roads, Transport and Housing in Naivasha.

He noted that the price of land in Nairobi was rated among the highest in the world due to people holding land hence the need for introduction of idle land tax.

Hinga says making individuals to pay taxes for land which has remained undeveloped for a long period of time will ensure they are released for projects.

He also rooted for the relocation of prisons from urban centers to allow the large tracts of land they sit on to be utilised for the state’s affordable housing program.

The PS further asked Kenya Railways to cede its unused land for the affordable housing program that seeks to tame the mushrooming of informal settlements.

Hinga noted that most Kenyans live in places without basic services and sanitation and that 92 per cent of Nairobians rent houses because they cannot afford to buy.

He said the government’s ongoing affordable housing program seeks to increase those servicing mortgages from the current 30,000 to one million.

He said the affordable housing programme also seeks to make most Kenyans to pay favourable terms for the affordable houses of as low as Sh5,000 per month.

Charles Hinga. 

Currently, the government has launched five affordable housing projects across the country, which translates to an estimated 26,788 housing units.

He said three more projects will be unveiled in Makongeni, Starehe and Thika in the next two months to avail an expected 50,000 extra housing units.

850 more housing units meant for members of the disciplined forces are almost complete in Bungoma, Kajiado, Bondo, Thika, Chuka, Langas among other towns.