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Zimbabwe’s housing backlog reaches 2 million

By Almot Maqolo

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The general demand for housing in Zimbabwe stands at 2 million housing units, an official said on Tuesday. In the same vein, the effective demand for housing from local authorities’ waiting lists stands at 1.5 million units, inclusive of civil servants’ requirements. “Cabinet also noted that in the late 1980s, the Government disposed of 75% of its existing pool properties to sitting tenants as an empowerment initiative,” said Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a media briefing. “There was, however, no corresponding and equitable replacement of the properties so disposed of, hence the current housing deficiency, which affects ordinary civil servants as well as the security services sector.”

Government noted that the Devolution Programme has created structures at provincial level that require provision of additional accommodation for personnel. “Furthermore, the inevitable staff movements through transfers and staff promotions have compounded the accommodation challenges across provinces vis-à-vis limited investments in the sector,” she said. With a view to alleviating the accommodation challenges, Cabinet approved as follows: a) to re-capitalise the National Housing Fund and the Housing Guarantee Fund portfolios: and to institute forthwith a moratorium on the disposal of Government Pool properties.

Suitable land will be availed across the country for the engagement of building brigades in the construction of Government pool houses in line with a comprehensive national housing provision programme whose chief aim is to empower citizens and civil servants, including those in rural areas. The vertical construction and densification model will be adopted in housing provision in order to optimally utilise land and provide amenities efficiently and at manageable costs.

“In line with the Second Republic’s thrust of private sector-driven development, the private sector, pension funds, banks will be facilitated to partner with other sources of funding in order to avail resources for housing construction. User-friendly mortgage system will be designed for the purpose of easing the burden of home-ownership for various categories of citizens,” Mutsvangwa added.


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