New housing scheme on cards

An artist’s impression of one of the new flats

An artist’s impression of one of the new flats

Business Reporter
The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is set to unveil a new housing scheme, the Home Ownership Scheme, that will see the construction of flats with a combined 2 380 units in Harare for low to medium income earners. According to the Ministry’s director for National Housing and Social Amenities Mr Lexton Kuwanda the new scheme, to be launched by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere soon, will see the construction of a mix of two to three-bedroomed flats in Dzivaresekwa, Mabvuku /Tafara for low income earners and Prospect for medium income earners.

Of the 2 380, 800 units will be in Dzivaresekwa, 700 units in Mabvuku and Tafara and 880 in Prospect. “The flats in Dzivaresekwa, Mabvuku and Tafara will be four storey walk up flats while the Prospect flats will be 10 storeys and will be fitted with elevators,” he said. He said the development was being made in collaboration with local banks and building societies.

“Government is providing the land while banks are providing mortgages to prospective owners of the flats. For these particular schemes we are working with CBZ Bank,” he said. The scheme is anchored on member contributions to leverage finance for the servicing of land and construction of housing units while the ministry will provide access to the land and necessary technical services.

“A number of banks and building societies that are offering mortgages have been approaching us to set up similar schemes and we are hoping that this spreads to other parts of the country. “We also want pensions and provident funds such as Old Mutual and National Social Security Authority to come in and provide funding for housing,” he said.

He added that they were hoping banks will also float housing bonds to raise money to develop some of the areas. The estimated costs for each of the low income unit ranges between $42 145 and $49 431, 17 while for the Prospect flats is upwards of $65 000 per unit.

Mr Kuwanda said applicants will only be allowed to register for one project and registration would be on a first come first served basis. Registration forms would be available from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing (Division of Public Works and National Housing) and Harare Metropolitan Province offices from Monday October 12 to Friday October 23.

The Home Ownership Scheme is part of the Ministry’s effort to meet the combined Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Agenda and National Housing Delivery Programme target of 313 368 housing units/serviced stands by December 2018. The national housing backlog currently stands at 1,25 million units. Already a number of insurance companies, building societies and banks notably, CABS, CBZ, FBC, Fidelity are rolling out housing schemes to the low to high income earners.