Harare City is set to introduce a new housing scheme in which the local authority will service and sell residential stands to home-seekers in partnership with financial institutions and other development partners.
The city has not serviced land for residential stands for the past 20 years, leaving room for unscrupulous land barons to exploit desperate home-seekers.
The department of housing which had previously been under the chamber secretary’s department, has now been resuscitated with Rtd Major Matthew Marara being appointed acting housing and community services director.
He is tasked to spearhead housing development.
In an interview yesterday, Rtd Major Marara said the city was now going to change its housing model in order to achieve its Zim-Asset target of 105 000 housing units by 2018.
“We cannot deny that housing co-operatives have been delivering serviced stands and houses, but some home-seekers have been swindled in the process due to lack of control of council in the operations. Most of these projects remained either undeveloped or partially serviced with beneficiaries staying in unplanned temporal structures.
“The major challenges identified had been attributed to lack of resources for land processes to the extent that the land seekers had to finance the processes. We are now going to involve banks and other institutions to deliver stands faster and at affordable prices,” he said.
He said people should only move to new settlements once they were equipped with roads, sewer, water and other requisite infrastructure.
He said council should be seen providing suitable, but affordable housing to its residents.
Rtd Major Marara said Harare as the capital city should set high standards to be emulated by other cities adding that the city also had a mandate to make district officers a hub of development.
“We want to make sure that services are given to local communities at the earliest convenience. Residents should not go far away to access basic services. We will equip district offices so that they can provide an array of services through developing Information Communication Technology,” he said.
He said council was also looking at refurbishing its stadia, community halls and libraries among other social amenities.
Ms Dorothy Mavolwane replaces Rtd Maj Marara as the acting monitoring and evaluation manager while Mr Michael Chideme has been appointed acting corporate communications manager.
Prior to their appointments Mr Chideme and Ms Mavolwane were principal communication officers.