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Universal Housing

The government has been urged to consider reducing the statutory charges levied for approval of architectural plans since the high costs negate the realisation of the Universal Housing Agenda.

A private Physical Planner in Nakuru County, Timothy Aleko said developers were highly charged by county governments and added the high charges have discouraged local investors from constructing more houses.

He was speaking Tuesday at the ASK Nakuru Showground where they have displayed new housing technologies.

Aleko said all developers are required to have an architectural and a structural design which cost as high as two per cent of the total cost of the building. After getting the approvals the developer is required to circulate the designs to various ministries for approval. All those places require a levy of Sh.5000, with slight gradation, depending on the county.

He added that the Town Engineer also levies a developer Sh 15,000 and then the developer is required to erect a board with the inscriptions on it about the architect, structural engineer and contractor and in some cases with the drawing of a proposed building on it. The board alone costs Sh7, 500 to obtain the approval to erect it.

Aleko said all the various approval costs tend to discourage and dampen the spirit of developers and urged the government to consider extending incentives in order to fast track the Universal Housing Agenda in the entire country.

“If the government is truly committed to providing housing to the people, the first thing they should consider is to make approvals for buildings cost-free,’’ Aleko said.

He said, in most cases, when governments decide to promote businesses, such as value addition in farming, it reduces or cuts, the taxes required in doing the business, and that is what housing developers are appealing for.
By Veronica Bosibori

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