THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) will soon announce the newly proposed rates for rent to tenants.The threat of eviction for both residential and commercial premises worries many tenants, said the Dar es Salaam Merchants Chamber (DMC) official, Mujengi Gwao.
These new rates are suspected to be exorbitant and beyond economic means of the tenants and against the social justice and people's welfare enshrined in Article 8 of the Constitution.He further says that failure by the government to intervene since NHC is the state landlord is tantamount to ignoring tenants' suffering.
Mr Gwao said the repeal of the Rent Restriction Act by the government in 2005 after it had been successfully operating since 1954 to restrain the greedy landlords, facilitated NHC and all other landlords to impose whatever rates for rent and for whatever period in advance they want which was an offence under the Act.
Mr Gwao made his contribution during a one day seminar organised by Land Rights Research and Resources Institute (HakiArdhi) in Dar es Salaam on Friday under the theme 'The need to Have Rent Restriction Legislation Back after its Repeal in 2005.'
The Land Rights Research and Resources Institute among other activities has organised public discussions on the challenges facing urban settlements and the way forward."Nothing is more essential to the welfare of people worldwide, as decent and affordable housing," said Mr Gwao adding that this is because housing is one of the most essential basic needs for humans.
He said where the government does not build houses for citizens then it must ensure that the law provides commercial incentives for rental houses to be built to provide for reasonable returns in other sectors of service delivery so that people have access to affordable housing of varying standards according to what they can comfortably afford.
At the same event, Mr Mfilinge Wilfred, a third year student at Ardhi University, said national policies must recognise residential settlements, the need for the re-introduction of rental restricted laws, and urged NGOs to build affordable houses so as to reduce the problem of unplanned urban settlements.
Another participant, Ms Debora Mcharo, a resident of Sinza, said authorities responsible for human settlements need to ensure that they take their responsibility seriously so as to keep their surroundings clean.Winding up the seminar, the Land Rights Research and Resources Institute Director, Mr Yefred Myenzi, argued that the Ministry of Lands and Human Settlements Development in collaboration with municipal councils need to map, coordinate and supervise human settlements in urban areas so as bring about development.