By Kudzai Furusa

Government is working on alleviating the accommodation challenges by recapitalising the National Housing Fund, said a Cabinet Minister.

Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said this in Harare during the 34th Cabinet meeting decision matrix when she presented on the ‘Revival of the National Housing Fund’ as a way of alleviating the housing challenges.

In the 2018 election manifesto, ZANU PF promised to construct 1.5 million houses in five years.

Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Daniel Garwe has since the beginning of this year been visiting all Provinces with the National Housing Programme highlighting Government's vision to provide decent housing to people and the pillars his Ministry is working with which are building modern, sustainable, affordable and sophisticated houses.

He has also been encouraging vertical building so as not to eat away land. All in a bid to fullfill the ZANU PF Manifesto.

“Cabinet noted that in terms of statistics available, the general demand for housing in Zimbabwe stands at 2 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.

Minister Mutsvangwa highlighted on the measures Government will take to alleviate the housing problems.

“With a view to alleviating the accommodation challenges, Cabinet approved as follows; 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," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“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 whose chief aim is to empower citizens and civil servants, including those in rural areas."

Minister Mutsvangwa went on to highlight that vertical construction of houses will be done in order to utilise land more effectively and that the banks will be roped in to partner with other sources of funding.

“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," she said.

"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 highlighted that a user-friendly mortgage system will be designed for the purpose of easing the burden of home-ownership for various categories of citizens.

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