The Sunday Mail
Government has given Harare City Council the green light to float a US$100 million bond for the construction of high-rise apartments in keeping with President Mugabe’s counsel to optimise land use.
Town House has also come up with a housing matrix which will see condemned flats in Mbare demolished and replaced by modern ones.
Both initiatives feature in a grand State plan to expand and modernise housing.
The bond will cover Mbare, Highfield and Tafara, among other suburbs.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail last week, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said, “We have given them the go-ahead to float the tender because the programme ties in with our overarching plan to provide 100 000 houses in the capital city.
“City of Harare is now at an advanced stage in terms of issuing the bond. We want other local authorities countrywide to come up with projects that provide state-of-the-art housing to the people.
“We took note of what the President said when he encouraged building housing apartments going up so that land does not run out for future generations. We are implementing the President’s directive and want this done across the entire country.”
Acting Harare Town Clerk Ms Josephine Ncube added: “We have made progress regarding the floating of a US$100 million municipal bond to fund various infrastructure projects.
“(This week) we will keep the media informed on any emerging developments. Housing projects will include urban renewal through replacement of old terraced houses, which have communal facilities with modern walk-up flats that are also complete family units.
‘‘This will be done in Highfield’s Geneva area, Mbare’s ‘Joburg’ and Tsiga lines as well as in Tafara.”
She also said, “The old Mbare hostels are to be demolished and replaced with new family unit flats under a project council will partner CBZ Bank. This was agreed to by Councillors at a meeting (last Thursday).
“We will first build the first blocks on open spaces and then move people from the old ones systematically. This is to make sure that people will not be left homeless.
“We will announce timeframes once we sign the contracts, but construction is expected to start this year.”
Government has been on a major drive to deliver on its 2013 election promises as guided by Zim-Asset, with more than US$100 million set aside in 2015 alone to finance construction of over 160 000 housing units.
Notable projects include the national Own Your Own Home scheme, which targets low and middle-income earners.
The programme started in Harare with Government planning high-rise apartment blocks in Dzivaresekwa, Prospect and Tafara.
The multi-million-dollar project is financed by the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe and US$60 million worth of bonds were floated to fund land servicing and actual construction.
At least US$50 million was earmarked for construction of flats for 640 households in Dzivaresekwa, 525 in Tafara and 880 in Prospect, with the remainder being used to service stands in Pomona.
An estimated 1,2 million people are on the national housing waiting list.
Harare is estimated to be sitting on a housing backlog of 500 000, while Bulawayo has 100 with 59 000 being reported in Mutare, 18 000 for Marondera, 17 000 in Gweru; and 6 000 waiting to get houses in Masvingo.