Urithi sacco in new drive to recover lost market confidence

Friday, December 13th, 2019 00:00 |
Urithi sacco chairman Samuel Maina.

Urithi Housing Cooperative Society is conducting tours for its members to  various projects it has been undertaking to  address specific issues.  

Group chairman Samuel Maina says the cooperative—which is facing financial difficulties— is holding status meetings for each site to update members on the progress of the projects.

“We started with Kamulu/Joska and  we are asking members who invested in these projects to attend meetings and help us chart the way forward,” he says.  

 The cooperative intends to issue title deeds in more than 40 projects and ensure those that  stalled housing developments are completed, he said. 

Urithi’s woes were sparked by controversies surrounding Ekeza Sacco and Gakuyo Real Estate whose managers were accussed of siphoning off billions, leading to street demonstrations and intervention by the government.   

Fears that other housing cooperatives could follow suit saw Urithi members hesitate to keep up with their monthly payments.

By May this year, members owed Urithi more than Sh2 billion, a deficit that saw it slug in delivery of projects. 

“While many members take longer time to complete payment for their homes or plots, the delays have exerted pressure on the co-operative to finalise projects,” Maina said.

Addressing members of Panorama Gardens project near Thika town, Maina blamed the current economic challenges as detrimental to implementation housing projects. Family Bank had threatened to dispose of the project after Urithi defaulted to pay for the land as agreed.

 Investors have also accused the management of not issuing them with ownership documents and failing to remit millions collected in rent by a property agent in Juja. 

“The Bank has since suspended the redemption notice to allow for restructuring of the loan facility which is at an advanced level,” Maina said.  

Maina acknowledges that their greatest challenge has been late or non-delivery of housing projects. To mitigate on the challenges, Urithi was forced to retrench several workers as well as consolidate some offices to reduce operational costs.

Maina urges members to be wary of people taking advantage of the situation to create confusion and disquiet among them.

The chairman said the sector’s non-performing loans stood at 15 per cent while construction contributed another eight per cent — a total of 23 per cent of non-performing loans in the economy last year.

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