Municipal Reporter
HARARE City Council is concerned with the low uptake of houses at the Budiriro CABS Housing scheme and wants the bank to reduce the deposit required (US$6 000) as it is too high for low-income earners.The councillors argue that the land intrinsic value for the project was heavily discounted to benefit first-time home owners. The city also wants the US$2 000 maximum salary criteria to be removed as well.

According to recent minutes of the Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee, the city’s corporate services and housing director Mrs Josephine Ncube said she held a meeting with CABS and the bank was also concerned with the low uptake of the houses.

She told the committee that CABS cited the depressed market and over-borrowing by prospective applicants.

“Their concern was on several risks such as vandalism, cost of security, loss of revenue and invasions. To that end, the department has since relaxed the six-month waiting period on the housing waiting list for the Budiriro Project only.

“However, this had not seen significant increase on the uptake. The CABS representative had proposed that the city opens the scheme to multiple home owners to participate on the scheme, a move which required council approval,” read part of the minutes.

The committee said the two-roomed houses were being shunned by home-seekers.

CABS proposed to extend the houses to four rooms but that would increase the cost.

The councillor Charles Nyatsuro-led committee expressed concern that the targeted low-income earners no longer qualified for the scheme. Since April 2014 the city vetted 1 661 applicants for the project and to date 1 224 were recommended to CABS for further vetting.

The bank approved 597 applicants who met the funding requirements. The phased project will have 3 102 houses on completion selling between US$17 000 and US$27 000 depending on number of rooms.


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