Homeseekers shun CABS project

B7e7_N1IUAAKhiRInnocent Ruwende Senior Reporter—
Harare City Council is concerned with the low uptake of houses at the Budiriro CABS Housing Scheme and is now considering leasing the houses after only 800 out of 2 879 were occupied even after scrapping the deposit requirement. The project was commissioned in 2014 with high hopes that it would help ease accommodation problems in the capital.

Deliberating at a full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors raised concern on the quality of work on the houses, some of which they said were cracking.

The councillors said the houses’ price was too high for the targeted population of low income earners.

Rugare councillor Peter Moyo said the houses, which cost between $21 000 and $27 000, were too expensive.

“CABS should revise the prices downwards,” he said. “We gave them land for almost nothing — 50 cents per square metre. We have a target to deliver 105 935 houses by 2018 under Zim-Asset and it is not helping that more than 2 000 houses are lying idle.”

Deputy mayor Councillor Enock Mupamawonde said the project had missed its target population.

“The houses were targeting low income earners, but the group cannot afford paying up to $400 monthly,” he said. “The people were also not pleased with the quality of work carried out at the project.

Some of the houses have developed cracks.”

Cllr Stewart Mtizwa said council and CABS should consider leasing the houses.

“We say no to compensation of CABS because it would be to the city’s disadvantage; we gave land to these people at a very low price they should consider leasing,” he said.

Cllr Girisoti Mandere also opposed the idea of giving more land to CABS. The Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee noted that in spite of the efforts by council and CABS to motivate homeseekers to take up the houses, demand was very low.

Homeseekers cited high costs of units or they simply did not qualify in terms of mortgage criteria by CABS, which preferred bankable clients, formally employed or at least with consistent monthly incomes.

CABS gives a 10-year mortgage to qualifying beneficiaries, who will pay at least $200 per month depending on the number of rooms.

The smallest of the units consist of a bedroom, kitchen, sitting room, bath and toilet, while others have two or three bedrooms.

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  • Matsimba

    That dwelling on the picture with corrugated roofing is clearly not worth $27,000. In an economy which has informalized there is need for great innovation such that the financial products are easily accessible to the generality of the population. Why is the city working with a profit oriented institution like CABS and not seeking partnerships with development oriented financial institutions whose mandate talks to development impact and social dividend and not the narrow metric of financial dividend?

  • Tapiwa Mubonderi

    Harare Municipality and CABS decided to settle people in the flood plain of Lake Chivero this is not an ideal housing location. The houses were probably constructed well but with the heavy rains they moved hence the structural damages. Their high cost is due to the special foundations for building in wetlands. Instead of giving up on this council and CABS should identify better suitable land and build better priced units so as to serve the community. Will crying over mistakes solve them or make things any better?

  • Sekuru Wanguda

    ha dzimba ndedze bank here idzo?

  • manomano

    EMA dzimba idzo hadzisi pa wetland here pakaitwa proper survey here . Hino kana CABS ichidaro ko vasiyanayi nemaLand Barons

  • Truth

    Dzimba dziri kudhura idzi zvemaroad hayisi nyaya nekuti kumwe hakuna maroads asi kurikugarwa

  • Lodger

    The demands for one to buy the houses are just not right, they require so much information to the extent that prospective buyers withdraw from the deal fearing that they will even be asked to state what their totem is in the documents. I am one person who really wanted to buy one of these houses but withdrew after getting fed up with excessive requirements.

  • Concerned Zimbabwean

    I have been at CABS and got these details. The smallest unit is a 2 roomed (not bedroom) like one pictured above and a bathroom. the cost is just over 25 530.00 USD including VAT. On top of that when you get approved you have to pay legal fees or around $2 000.00 cash or transfer for your papers to be processed by the Lawyers. The deposit they required to apply for the mortage is 10% which is about $2530.00. plus legal fees thats around 4.5k USD needed upfront. If u want a 10 year mortage u will be paying something like 366/month for 10years. ie is $43 920 then add deposit – can we disregard time value of money workings as the USD is likely to be be stable or to even gain ground in the future. If you choose to pay over 20years you pay around 288 per month and that is $69 120 without deposits and legal fees. I believe this is grossly expensive considering that the place is a wetland, the roads are bad, the location is far from town, and mostly the road to that area is notorious for robbers. Cabs do a reduction in these houses if you really want to have an uptake. those that are forced to take I believe its not by choice but its by default because there are very few legit stands on the market. I propose that the City of Harare should find a good location and call people who have money upfront say $1000 and above and give them these stands and the other money they pay monthly and that money be used to develop the area. Now that is way better than giving land barons and capitalists at low cost so that they reap off home-seekers and i believe in a way the City will improve its income. for eg if 100 000 people come up with a $1000 each that is a whooping 100 million in the bank and now tell me cant that money develop the place? then after that the rest will be profit…… we have any thinkers in City of HARARE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT I WONDER?????????