Shamiso Makiwa Herald Correspondent
At least 145 000 new applicants registered this year with the Harare City Council to be allocated stands and houses, an increase attributed to the CABS housing scheme recently launched in Budiriro. The scheme gave people hope of receiving finished housing units.
According to city council minutes of the Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee, this was a 262 percent increase compared to last year.
The Corporate Services and Housing Director Mrs Josephine Ncube, reported that in the year under review, there had been some marked improvements in service delivery compared to the situation in the previous year despite the persistent shortage of staff and adequate resources.
Mrs Ncube was pleased by the fact that most suburbs in Harare were receiving clean water and that most major roads were being resurfaced.
“The division registered 144 537 new applicants on the housing waiting list, which was an increase of 262 percent increase which, however, was triggered by the City of Harare CABS Scheme in Budiriro. About 60 percent failed to renew their housing waiting list details,” reads part of the minutes.
The corporate services and housing director expressed concern over the department’s continued failure to adequately deliver required services. It has been 10 years since council adopted its housing policy, but the demand for housing continued to grow outstripping supply.
The committee noted that district officers reported a disturbing increase in the number of illegal structures (land invasions) activities.
However, regardless of all the challenges, the division experienced some achievements that include further expansion of mostly high density suburbs due to the partnerships between council and stakeholders such as banks.
Furthermore, nine libraries were operational for the year under review, whilst the tenth, for Kuwadzana, was yet to be completed due to financial constraints.