Herald Correspondent—

Harare City Council is this year targeting to deliver 20 000 serviced residential stands to people on the housing waiting list in line with provisions of the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.

Already, 383 residential stands have been serviced, with 210 of them in Warren Park D measuring 200 square metres each, while 93 are in Westlea, each measuring 690 square metres.

The city has not serviced land for residential stands for the past 20 years, creating room for unscrupulous land barons to exploit and swindle desperate home seekers.

In an interview yesterday after touring the serviced areas, Harare’s acting director of housing and community services Retired Major Matthew Marara said the city had changed its housing model to achieve its Zim-Asset target of 105 000 housing units by 2018.

“In 2016, the city of Harare came up with a new housing policy,” he said. “The main change in this housing policy was the scrapping of housing cooperatives. There came in a new kid on the block which is the paying scheme coordinated by the City of Harare.

“This year we are targeting to allocate serviced stands amounting to 20 000. These stands are going to be found at Eyestone Farm, Mabvuku, Churu Farm, Kuwadzana, Budiriro and Warren Park. Our exemplary model of the stands is here in Warren Park D and Chipochashe Housing Scheme in Westlea.

“We want people to have houses in an orderly manner. The paying scheme model starts by servicing their areas, once the area has water, sewer, roads, that is when we will allow development. You will be surprised that we allocated this place in June 2016, and we are in January with all the services nearing completion.”

Rtd Major Marara said the programme was introduced as a way of protecting home seekers from bogus housing cooperatives and land developers who fleeced people of millions of dollars by illegally parcelling council land.

He advised home seekers against being duped by illegal land barons masquerading as land developers and said anyone in need of land should register to any city of Harare office.

“People should not be directed by misguided elements,” said Rtd Major Marara. “Any land allocated should be done through council offices on an individual basis. We have got other private developers who will be servicing stands with the approval of council.

“If we identify a piece of land for allocation, we will identify people who are on the waiting list at Remembrance House in Mbare that will be grouped together to form what is called a paying scheme. The paying scheme will elect its leadership which will manage the scheme under the supervision of the City of Harare.”

Chairpersons of Warren Park and Chipochashe housing schemes Messrs Joseph Chinyerere and Munodawafa Sukuta said construction of the houses was expected to commence after two months.

They said incessant rains had stalled progress in the construction of roads in the residential areas, which already have sewer and water.

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