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Amended mortgage loans to unlock more home ownership

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Gazzettement of amended mortgage loans regulations will unlock more home-ownership opportunities for singles and married couples and create a pool of ready cash for developers to help fix the country’s housing gap.

Mizizi Africa Homes says allowing individuals enlisted in several schemes established by the same sponsor to combine member’s accrued benefits and married couples to combine their pension savings for the purchase of residential homes will boost economy and the country’s social security.

The Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulation, 2020 states that where a member and the member’s spouse are both members of the same scheme or different schemes, the trustees shall prescribe in the scheme rules the manner in which the member and member’s spouse may combine their accrued benefits and utilise the total amount for the purchase of a residential house.

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“This condition offers a window of relief to couples especially those with low earnings join homeownership much earlier through a combined effort and could significantly accelerate efforts of bridging housing gap by challenging developers to meet a rising demand for houses with ready financial resources,” said Mizizi Africa Homes Chief Executive Officer, George Mburu.

The amended regulation has pegged the  proportion available for the purchase of a residential house at the time of the application to a lower of 40 per cent of the member’s accumulated benefit subject to a maximum of Sh7 million or the purchase price of the house.

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Similarly,  it allows an applicant who is a member of more than one scheme that have been established by the same sponsor, the trustees shall, on the option of the member, combine the member’s accrued benefits in determining the proportion available to the member.

“This will encourage more unmarried individuals and single parents to take up affordable houses,” said Mburu.

Already, latest report by Mizizi Africa Homes shows  single women own 67 per cent of units in four of its affordable housing projects outpacing single men who own less than 10 per cent of the units.

Implementation of the new regulation, Mizizi Africa Homes says will offer a big boost to Big Four Agenda on housing with its ripple effects expected to improve manufacturing output and contribute to general health of the population.

“Unlocking of financial resources is a major win for all, with ready cash more projects will be completed faster, manufacturing sector will experience more activities due to rise in demand for goods and more Kenyans will have peace of mind and better life,” said Mburu.

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