COMMENT: government talks about delivery of housing
President Mnangagwa last Wednesday ordered government-built houses in the town of Beitbridge as part of the Beitbridge Redevelopment Program (BRP). The completion of the houses is another confirmation of the government’s commitment to eliminate the 1.2 million housing units on the waiting list.
The government has set a target of building 225,000 homes by 2025 and is already keeping its promise. A total of 52 houses were completed under the BRP and 28 were commissioned by President Mnangagwa and are now ready for occupancy.
Officials have already been assigned the other 24 houses. The completed homes are part of the large housing development project underway in Beitbridge after the $ 597 million release from the Treasury.
The project, which aims to improve the face of the border town, also includes the construction of garden apartments to accommodate 64 families and another border village of 264 houses.
Last September, President Mnangagwa commissioned the Marimba Apartments Project in Harare, which again aims to provide housing for most civil servants.
Zimbabwe’s swelling housing waiting list has been blamed largely on the unavailability of mortgage finance. The limited mortgage financing available is beyond the reach of most housing seekers. So the challenge is to make affordable mortgage financing available to allow people to build or buy homes.
The government, for its part, is spearheading the development of modern and affordable urban and rural houses, as evidenced by the many housing projects implemented in different parts of the country.
The elimination of the backlog of housing waiting lists is taking place alongside the modernization of housing units in former suburbs such as Makokoba in Bulawayo, Mtapa in Gweru, Mbare in Harare and Sakubva in Mutare.
Housing structures in these suburbs will be replaced with modern homes that are in tandem with the country’s vision to be an upper middle class economy by 2030.
Work to replace colonial structures is in fact already underway in the suburb of Sakubva as part of the Sakubva urban renewal project.
It is a fact that government alone cannot mobilize adequate resources to eliminate the backlog of housing waiting lists, hence the need for the private sector to complement government efforts to provide decent housing to people. citizens.
We have already alluded to the shortage of mortgage finance as the main stumbling block and therefore we call on banks and other financial institutions to resort to cheap mortgage finance to enable housing seekers to build or buy homes.
The government builds houses primarily for its workers and those in the private sector should be able to access mortgage finance to build houses. Most towns and cities have, in recent years, seen housing waiting lists skyrocket as very little housing development has taken place due to the unavailability of affordable mortgage financing.
Housing is one of the basic human rights and therefore it is the wish of every family to have its own home.
The government is setting the pace in housing provision and it is time for the private sector to complement these efforts by investing in housing development.
In the past, companies built houses for their workers or helped them build their own houses. This guaranteed workers and their families decent housing, so there is no reason today’s businesses cannot do the same.