Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
National Building Society (NBS) is targeting to construct 100 000 low cost housing units in the next five years with 10 000 units earmarked for this year. Powered by a $25 million capitalisation from National Social Security Authority (NSSA), NBS managing director Mr Ken Chitando said the bank in its schemes is targeting low income earners, first time home buyers and the informal sector.
He was speaking at the launch of the bank’s Housing Development Road Show in Harare yesterday.
“Our focus is low cost descent housing. We have affordable interest rates for low income earners. For a one-bedroomed apartment, we expect people to pay $112 for a one-bedroomed house while those who opt for a three-bedroomed house will folk out $404 monthly,” he said.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said the country was facing a backlog of an estimated 1,25 million housing units due to rising housing demand in urban and resettled areas.
“Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Social Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) guarantees housing for all, hence this aggressive, massive housing initiative, which NBS has embarked on to address this perennial challenge with other players on the same platform,” she said.
“Government has committed itself to delivering over 60 000 housing units per year in order to reduce the national housing backlog. However, all of these ambitions require committed and organised actors. Smart partnerships and collaborations are essential if players are to survive competition in this dynamic market.”
She said the provision of low cost housing is a concerted effort by different players in the housing value chain.
Minister Mupfumira said Government and the relevant municipalities should also play an active role.
“As NBS and all other stakeholders map the best way forward, I urge you to embrace the concept of Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) as enshrined in our economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.
“The 10-point plan, elaborated eloquently by our President, encourages the promotion of joint ventures and PPPs to boost the role and performance of state-owned companies,” she said.
“In the face of an ever increasing world population, the greater expectations demands from society and budgetary constraints, Zimbabwe Government is facing an increasing amount of pressure to deliver decent and adequate housing.”
Minister Mupfumira said the financing requirements of current and prospective infrastructure needs far outstrip resources available.
She said budgetary constraints and an acknowledgement of private sector efficiencies and know-how are two of the principal reasons why governments around the world are taking the economic and political decision to accelerate the use of private sector finance and adopt Public Private Partnership models