Govt to mobilise $182,4m for housing

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The Government will mobilise $182,4 million in support of several housing development strategies that are aimed at providing low cost serviced land for housing development.

In his 2018 National Budget presentation last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Government will partner the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe and the Urban Development Corporation in coming up with various financing strategies for housing development. Such strategies include: “Home Ownership Schemes, largely funded by beneficiaries; Loan Funded Schemes, where the Local Authority, IDBZ, and UDCORP identify suitable land and mobilise funding for servicing before selling the stands to beneficiaries.”

The strategy will also include “formalization of informal settlements, where Government and the beneficiaries meet the cost of the required off-site and on-site infrastructure.”

“During 2018, the Budget will mobilise $182,4 million in support of the above strategies,” said Minister Chinamasa. Loan Funded Schemes have an allocation of $59,5 million with $7,8 million coming from National Budget, $20 million from beneficiaries own resources and $31, 7 million being loan financing.

Some of the housing projects for the “Loan Funded Schemes” are in Tafara, where $1 million has been earmarked for the construction of flats. The others are in Budiriro, Nemamwa, Kariba, Gwanda, Masvingo and Harare among others. The IDBZ will be involved in most of these projects. A total $88,5 million is expected to be invested in Beneficiary Funded Schemes were $9,7 million has been budgeted, $67,3 will come from “own resources” , $5,5 million from beneficiary contributions and $6 million from loan financing.

Some of the projects under Beneficiary Funded Schemes will be in Chinhoyi, Gweru, Chiredzi, Makonde, Bulawayo and Harare. The Knockmaloch Housing Development project in Norton will, however, get the bulk of the funding resources amounting to $41 million. The Manresa Housing Project in Harare will also get a sizeable chunk of $18,3 million.

Urban renewal and Regularisation schemes will get funding amounting to $4,4 million with UDCORP being involved in projects in Sakubva, Highfields, Nyatsime, Hatcliffe and Caledonia.

In support of privately funded schemes in addressing the housing backlog, Government will also create the necessary synergies with banks, genuine housing co-operatives, Councils and other stakeholders, with a view of ensuring the housing backlog is reduced. Government also noted its concerns with Land Barons and some “unscrupulous Housing Co-operatives” that continue to abuse contributions by members.

“To protect genuine private investors from this, particularly within some Co-operatives, Government has since mandated UDCORP to take over the administration of those schemes, where members are demonstrating lack of capacity to develop and service land availed by the State for housing development.

“In this regard, UDCORP will administer the Co-operative Funds earmarked for land servicing, with the Co-operative receiving and managing contributions related to the administration of the Co-operative. Minister Chinamasa puts the country’s housing backlog at 1,3 million, with Harare City Council’s housing shortfall alone accounting for 500 000. Given that housing is a basic human right, said Chinamasa, Government has continued to priorities investments towards affordable housing across the country.–herald

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