Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
Chiredzi Town Council has started allocating over 1 000 medium-density housing stands to beneficiaries in a move that is set to reduce the housing backlog in the Lowveld town.
The sugarcane growing town has nearly 20 000 people on the housing waiting list and the figure continues to rise on the back of increased rural to urban migration.
Council has already awarded a tender to a private firm to develop roads, sewer and install water in the new medium-density suburb.
Councillor Gibson Hwende, the council chair, told The Herald recently that provision of serviced stands to home-seekers was a top priority.
“We have started calling residents who were successful when council conducted interviews ahead of the allocation of over 1 000 medium stands,” he said.
“The number of residents in search of residential stands continues to balloon, hence the decision to speed up the process and reduce the backlog.
Clr Hwende said council expected construction of houses in the new suburb to kick-off soon.
“Since we have completed the tendering process and identified a company that will develop roads, drainage lines, sewer and water reticulation systems, it is our hope that the construction of houses will start in the not too distant future.
“Initially we had pegged the price of our serviced stands at $16 per square metre, but now we have adjusted to $25 since our project developers have also adjusted their charges.” Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman Mr Jonathan Muusha urged the council to make sure all resources mobilised for the housing project would be utilised for the intended use.
“Council should learn from its past mistakes,” he said. “Last time they ended up failing to develop roads and install sewer in the high density suburb of Makondo after it diverted the money to something else.
“This project must be financed by resources from beneficiaries and that will see the area being developed quickly.
“As residents we want the council to attain municipal status by 2023 and this can only be possible if they service more stands to grow the town.”