Government launches housing scheme
Freeman Razemba Herald Reporter
Government on Thursday launched the Harare chapter of the National Housing Delivery Programme under Zim-Asset that will see more than 105 000 housing units being built in the capital city by 2018.
The programme will also be launched in other provinces in the coming weeks.
Under Zim-Asset, Harare province is expected to deliver 105 935 houses by 2018, the Midlands (56 760), Matabeleland North (28 772), Mashonaland West (23 819), Manicaland (21 830), Masvingo (20 269), Mashonaland Central (16 607), Bulawayo (15 100), Matabeleland South (12 500) and 11 776 in Mashonaland East.
Speaking during the launch of the programme in Harare, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said the programme was expected to yield 313 368 housing units across the country in the next 38 months.
“This is the target figure that informs our National Housing Delivery Programme”, he said.
“It is imperative to note that such a massive housing delivery programme cannot be undertaken by Government alone, but requires concerted efforts from relevant stakeholders.”
Minister Chombo said the 2012 revised National Housing Policy provided for Government to play a facilitatory role by creating a conducive environment for the participation of various players in housing delivery.
“It is instructive to note that Zim-Asset requires the Social Services and Poverty Eradication Cluster to collectively deliver 125 000 housing units and or serviced stands in the next four years, against an estimated housing backlog of 1,25 million,” said Minister Chombo.
“This massive housing backlog is a function of the debilitating illegal sanctions visited upon the polity by the West as punishment for our glorious land and agrarian reforms. This explains the low levels of investments in housing by central Government, local authorities and other players in the housing sector in the past decade or so.”
Dr Chombo said his ministry spearheaded the formulation of the programme in line with the Zim-Asset agenda.
Minister Chombo said the home ownership approach that underpinned the programme sought to address the plight of low to medium income earners, drawn from the housing waiting lists.
He handed over 45,58 hectares of land to the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) in Marimba suburb to signify the official roll-out of the housing programme in Harare.
“This Marimba-IDBZ Housing Project has provision for mixed housing development as the layout plan provides for four-storey walk-up flats and medium to high density housing,” said Minister Chombo.
“All in all, the project has 761 housing units, of which 429 are high density, 268 medium density and four flat sites of 16 units each.”
Minister Chombo challenged the IDBZ to immediately start work.
He said the project would be for first-time home seekers with women, war veterans, civil servants, State security organisations, and the youths getting 10 percent each of the houses. The other 50 percent is for general first-time home seekers. Minister Chombo said Government would not tolerate instances where project partners, due to incompetence or otherwise, end up inflating project costs to the extend that they become unaffordable to low income earners.
He said the infrastructure provider in any given housing development site would develop the requisite off-site and on-site infrastructure inclusive of roads, water and sewer reticulation, storm water drains, street lighting, optic fibre cabling for smart metering, crèches, schools and clinics as per approval lay out plans.
IDBZ chief executive officer Mr Charles Chikaura said the bank had formulated the IDBZ housing strategy, a five-year strategy based on Zim-Asset, for the provision of sustainable and affordable housing delivery covering the period 2014 to 2018.
“In its strategy on housing, the bank will optimise utilisation of the availed piece of land as well as raise and allocate requisite financial resources needed for the construction of walk-up flats, core-housing and the ordinary high density superstructures beginning now through 2015 for the benefit of the low income population of Harare, of which civil servants constitute a significant part,” he said.
“It is estimated that this particular piece of land, at a total size of 45,58ha, will deliver a composite housing scheme comprising approximately 430 high density stands of 300 square metres each in size and 270 medium density stands at 510 square metres each.”
Mr Chikaura said the bank set a target to contribute 30 000 housing units between now and 2018.
He said to achieve that they needed 2 000 hectares of land countrywide for delivery of both owner-occupied and rent-to-buy accommodation.