THE National Building Society (NBS), a subsidiary of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), will officially launch its Bulawayo branch tomorrow (Thursday).
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko will be the guest of honour during a programme that will be attended by Cabinet Ministers – Prisca Mupfumira (Labour and Social Services), Saviour Kasukuwere (Local Government), Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo (Bulawayo Provincial Minister), top NSSA executives and board members.
The building society is focused on financing the provision of affordable loans to low income earners in need of low-cost residential accommodation.
It is projected the new entity will support construction of at least 2,000 housing units per year, with 30 percent of them set aside for civil servants.
Yesterday, a team of technicians was sprucing up the premises to house the new branch ahead of its opening along Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.
NBS was initially launched in Harare last Wednesday with seed capital of $25 million.
The bank’s managing director Ken Chitando has said there will be preferential pricing for first-time home owners at a low interest rate of 9,5 percent mortgages over a 25-year tenure.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo residents have welcomed the formation of NBS, saying it will address housing challenges faced by the city.
Bulawayo has a housing backlog of more than 100,000 while the national housing backlog stands at about 1, 25 million.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) information officer Zibusiso Ndlovu said the new bank was a step in the right direction in addressing the housing situation bedevilling the city.
“For us, any such move of providing housing to low income earners will be very welcome. What we now want is a transparent and clear method of selection of beneficiaries,” said Ndlovu.
“It should be clear how it’ll be decided who qualifies as a low income earner, whether vendors or teachers because in these economic challenges we’re facing, everyone now qualifies as a low income earner.”
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviour Kasukuwere, has pledged to avail about 300 hectares of land for the construction of 20,000 housing units for youths in Bulawayo.