Govt gives 102 youths stands

standsIvan Zhakata Herald Reporter
The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has given 102 youths residential stands as part of Government’s youth empowerment programmes.

This comes after youths in Mufakose, Harare formed a Youths in Business Housing Trust with the agenda to empower young people.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 102 fully serviced residential stands, Mr Lexton Kuwanda, the director of national housing and social amenities in the ministry, said it was Government’s desire to ensure proper housing development countrywide.

He said housing projects would bring in commercial banks and building societies to provide “backstopping” finance and financial management skills.

“The national housing backlog currently hovers beyond 1,25 million units and the remedial feat cannot be achieved by Government alone, entailing that it requires concerted efforts by all stakeholders in the housing delivery domain,” he said.

“The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing developed a five-year National Housing Delivery Programme (NHDP) 2014-2018 in line with the national economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.

“The programme is set to deliver a target of 313 360 housing units and or fully serviced stands by December 2018, targeting the low and medium income strata. This figure is way above the Zim-Asset target of 125 000 units within the said plan period,” Mr Kuwanda said.

He said the ministry had crafted a new housing delivery strategy code-named Home Ownership Scheme that was anchored on member contributions to leverage housing finance, in association with financial institutions.

Mr Kuwanda said the ministry would be providing land and the requisite infrastructure before beneficiaries took occupation of their stands or flats.

“The ministry will deploy internal capacity to service the stands and build houses and or flats, where possible and in some cases subcontract to quicken the implementation process,” he said.

“The ministry is also negotiating with financial institutions with a view for the latter to consider advancing funds to the project to expedite implementation while beneficiaries pay over a designated time-frame.

“It is indeed Government’s considered view that a vibrant mortgage financing mechanism is a prerequisite to a robust housing sector development regimen. The State in this case will avail title deeds for the land as security to enable the banks and building societies to finance the projects,” said Mr Kuwanda.

He said the ministry was identifying State land that was allocated to private land developers and housing cooperatives that had not been developed with a view to repossessing such land and initiating Government-led programmes.

“Government no longer tolerates situations where beneficiaries take occupation of unserviced stands. Respective local authorities should issue the Developers Compliance Certificates before the same can occupy their stands,” Mr Kuwanda said.

He said they were disheartened by the activities of a majority of housing cooperative leaders, land developers, housing trusts and individuals who had a tendency of indiscriminately parcelling out open spaces.

Mr Kuwanda said; “Such malcontents and miscreants have proceeded to dispose of these pieces of land to unsuspecting home seekers, usurping the authority of local authorities who are the planning and land developing authorities in their areas of jurisdiction.”

“More often than not, these characters are abusing the name of the party Zanu-PF) in their shoddy dealings,” he said.

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