The Government of Zimbabwe in partnership with a pan-African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique are set to build 3 000 low-cost housing units in the country starting next year in a bid to mitigate the growing housing deficit in urban areas.
Zimbabwe’s housing deficit currently stands at 1.7 million units.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the Shelter Afrique, Center of Excellence Master Class Series in Harare today, National Housing and Social Amenities, Minister Daniel Garwe said government will assist local developers with land once financial instruments have been availed by the financier.
“We are at this stage in a discussion journey to specifically come up with a huge construction projects or a housing development project were we churn out a minimum of 3 000 housing units, affordable housing units. We haven’t fine-tuned where and how we are going to do it but one thing for sure is government is going to be providing land without any commitments, they are going to be providing financial instruments to make sure the housing program is a success,” he said.
The project will involve the participation of local banking institutions, land developers aided by the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities officials.
Zimbabwe is targeting to roll-out 470 000 housing units in the next 10 years under its National Housing Delivery Program.
Shelter Afrique has been providing finance instruments for various local institutions since 2010 before partnering with the government on this project.
For 2019 alone, Shelter Afrique approved US$ 20 million to various local finance institutions to disburse towards housing.
“On the financial institutions in 2019, we actually approved at least US$ 20 million to institutions that are local, CABS and CBZ and that is now on the demand side to be able to rollout mortgage loans,” Shelter Afrique Managing Director, Andrew Chimphondah said.
The development comes at a time the country’s local authorities are grappling with challenges arising from rapid urbanization in most cities that have created housing shortages, and in most cases leading to emergence of slum settlements.
In Harare for instance, land barons who in most cases are politically backed have taken advantage of the demand for housing by creating unlawful settlements yet authorities remain tight-lipped on the matter.