CABINET on Tuesday approved the revival of the National Housing Fund as part of a broad strategy to bridge the national housing deficit.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said Cabinet, at its weekly Tuesday meeting, had considered the proposal by National Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Daniel Garwe.
She said statistics showed the general demand for housing in Zimbabwe stands at two million housing units.
“The effective demand for housing from local authorities’ waiting lists stands at 1,5 million units, inclusive of civil servants’ requirements,” she said.
“Cabinet also noted that in the late 1980s, the Government disposed of 75 percent of its existing pool properties to sitting tenants as an empowerment initiative.
“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.”
With a view to alleviating the accommodation challenges, she said Cabinet agreed 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. As such, she said 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.
Its aim is to empower citizens and civil servants, including those in rural areas. Henceforth, 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, said the minister.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the devolution programme had created structures at provincial level that required provision of additional accommodation for personnel, while staff movements through transfers and promotions had compounded the accommodation challenges across the country.
“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,” she said.
“A user-friendly mortgage system will be designed for the purpose of easing the burden of home-ownership for various categories of citizens.” — New Ziana