New pay housing scheme on cards

George Mlilo

George Mlilo

Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Government has introduced a new national housing scheme for low and middle- income earners, the Home Ownership Scheme, which will see the building of high-rise flats and servicing land for sale to people on the housing waiting list.

The programme was introduced as a way of protecting home-seekers from bogus housing cooperatives and land developers who fleeced people of millions of dollars by illegally selling State land to them.

This is in line with the Zim-Asset target of 313 000 houses countrywide by 2018, while Harare Province is expected to build 105 935 houses.

The programme kick-starts in Harare in Dzivaresekwa where 640 flat units would be constructed, 524 flat units in Tafara and 880 flat units in Prospect, while the Government is set to repossess all underutilised residential State land given to housing cooperatives and private land developers countrywide.

More land is being identified in different parts of the country for the purposes of implementing the scheme.

The scheme is anchored on beneficiary contributions to leverage finance, while the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ministry would provide land and infrastructure.

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, the ministry’s permanent secretary Engineer George Mlilo, said Government would flight adverts next week inviting those interested to register their interest with the ministry and start contributing towards the projects.

“Contributions will be channelled through the bank to service stands or construct houses or flats. Under the new scheme, beneficiaries will only be allowed to take occupation of the stands or housing units once the land is fully serviced or houses fully constructed.

“The provision of water, sewer reticulation and road networking as well as actual construction of houses and flats will be carried out with the ministry using its construction unit and through engagement of specialised contractors,” he said.

He said the engagement of specialised civil and building contractors would be done through the ministry’s tendering system, picking from a list of contractors registered with the ministry.

Eng Mlilo said they have already identified potential suppliers of construction equipment on hire basis through a tender process that was done in August.

He said in order to reduce the national housing backlog of 1 250 000 housing units, the ministry would implement the scheme in all 10 provinces.

“The ministry would like to advise all individuals, cooperatives and organisations allocated land by the ministry to come and pay up the lease rentals for the land allocated to them. Payment plans for the land allocated may be presented for negotiations with the ministry.

“Beneficiaries should pay for the cost of land allocated to them and illegal developments will not be allowed on State land.

“As a ministry, we introduced the scheme as a way of protecting desperate home-seekers from unscrupulous activities by bogus housing cooperatives and land developers,” he said.

The three bedroom flats in Prospect would cost at least $65 000 while the two-bedroomed flats in Tafara and Budiriro would be sold for $42 000.

Beneficiaries are expected to pay a deposit of $5 000 and pay the remainder over a period of up to 20 years.