THE recently established National Building Society (NBS), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), will soon take over the pension fund’s land bank for construction of low cost housing across the country, a Cabinet minister has said.
Launched last month, the NBS was specifically set up to provide not only low cost housing but affordable mortgage in an economy where low income earners have been elbowed out of the housing market due to stringent and costly demands to qualify for loans and other housing schemes.
Zimbabwe has a housing waiting list of over 1,25 million. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said NSSA, which has been criticised for failing to meet the housing needs of its members, owned large tracts of land across the country.
“NSSA will be looking at all the land that is available which will be handed over to the National Building Society to ensure that we achieve the objectives of the NBS,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira said workers were free to join the NBS which would give them access to mortgages, which have been pegged at an interest rate of 9.5 percent per annum, the lowest on the market.
The NBS, which currently has branches in Harare and Bulawayo, has said it will embark on at least one or two housing projects this year.
Its target is to have at least 2,000 new housing units on the market every year. Before establishment of the NBS, NSSA has financed housing projects in major cities but has also sunk pensioners funds in other failed projects, losing millions of dollars. — New Ziana.