Peter Matambanadzo Senior Reporter
The Central Africa Building Society (CABS) Budiriro low- income housing project could turn out to be a white elephant because there are no takers of the houses owing to exorbitant deposits the bank is demanding.The amount is beyond the reach of the targeted low-income earners.

CABS has so far completed 985 housing units under its first phase in Budiriro and is demanding between US$6 000 and US$7 000 as deposit for one to qualify for the scheme.

The bank also requires the applicant to be a first time buyer; must be on the City of Harare housing waiting list with a regular income of at least US$756 per month; a bank account with CABS; proof of ability to raise 25 percent deposit and legal fees of about 10 percent for transfer and bond registration fees.

In response to The Herald’s enquiries, CABS managing director Mr Kevin Terry, said so far only 244 out of 3 000 applicants successfully qualified and were approved.
He, however, attributed the low uptake to economic hardships.

“The challenge most people are facing is in raising 25 percent deposit and the general economic hardships especially for the low income sector for this housing project,” Mr Terry said.

He said so far 3 000 prospective home owners submitted applications to the City of Harare and 770 were recommended.

“CABS then interviewed 770 recommended individuals of which more than 440 met our criteria and submitted applications. Of these, 244 were approved. About 144 beneficiaries are ready to move into the houses. The balance are at various stages of processing,” Mr Terry said.

CABS also dismissed allegations of corruption in the allocation process, saying it was done transparently.

However, disgruntled home seekers interviewed who declined to be named for fear of victimisation said their dreams had been shattered after their applications were turned down.

“I am disappointed. I deserve to be among the beneficiaries as I’m in that category of low-income earners, but I was turned down. I urge you to investigate the allocation process and see what’s happening,” a prospective home-seeker said.

Another lodger said he had been frustrated by the ever changing demands to  qualify.

“At first they said we should have US$3 000 in our accounts and they changed to US$5 000 and us$6 000 and now they are demanding a us$7 000 deposit. We suspect this is meant to frustrate us the low-income earners who are the bona-fide beneficiaries,” he said.

The scheme was launched last year and CABS indicated that it would construct 3 102 housing units.

The houses range from one roomed to four bedroomed and cost between us$17 000 and us$27 000 each.

You Might Also Like