BENEFICIARIES of houses under the City of Harare and CABS’ Budiriro housing project have petitioned the developers for urgent action to address infrastructure deficiencies they claim are compromising their standards of living. The petition, seen by The Herald Property Guide, demanded the rehabilitation of Marimba Road, speed humps on busy roads within the Budiriro 5 extension area, regular refuse collection, smell from Crowborough sewage plant, perpetual water cuts and facilitation of the electrification of their houses.
The Budiriro housing project, born out of an agreement signed in late 2012 between Harare City Council and Old Mutual Zimbabwe unit, CABS, to build 3 102 core houses for low income earners, has not achieved its objectives. Uptake of the houses under the project has, however, been very slow.
Sources told The Herald Property Guide that they felt the developer was taking them for granted and delivering a shoddy service, as the project was nowhere near what other developers such as National Social Security Authority, Fidelity Life and Aspindale had done, labelling the scheme fraudulent.
“Old Mutual is taking clients for granted and giving a shoddy service. Their scheme is nothing compared to what Aspindale, Fidelity (Life) and NSSA are doing. We had agreed that as residents we would come out in our numbers and present our petition at CABS’ head office, after which we would demonstrate. The demo was, however, cancelled because police did not clear it,” said a key member of the residents association who requested anonymity.
The mortgage lender recently said a total 200 houses under the Budiriro housing project had been purchased through the rent to buy scheme since it was introduced last year, as part of efforts increase demand for the houses.
CABS, partnered the Harare City Council in the $15 million project which saw construction of 3 102 houses, but uptake of the units has been low since the scheme was launched in 2013. CABS introduced the rent to buy scheme after only 440 units were taken on the initial terms.
Initially, home seekers were expected to pay about $5 000 deposit for two-roomed houses that were being sold for $22 000 and $7 000 for the four-roomed houses, which cost $27 000 with a deposit requirement of more than $7 000. The deposit requirements were in 2015 reduced to 10 percent from 25 percent of the total house value. CABS is extending the low cost housing development initiative to Bulawayo with an estimated initial outlay of $6 million.