21 December 2012

Tanzania: Govt Moves to Address House Shortage

Photo: Unhabitat
Urban housing project in Ilala, Dar-es-Salaam (file photo).

CURBING shortages of houses in the country, currently estimated at 3 million will only be achieved through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and not the government alone, Vice-President Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal, has stressed.

Demand for houses in Tanzania is estimated to be growing at an average of 200,000 housing units per annum and thus requiring huge investments to construct houses for the population.

"The government has taken various measures aimed at reducing the shortages by enacting and amending various legislations to create a conducive environment for the private sector to participate," Dr Bilal said.

The VP made the remarks in Dar es Salaam yesterday at a ceremony to lay a foundation stone for a 3.5bn/- building for public servants at the Ada Estate area. Upon completion which is expected in February, next year, the seven-storey building, will accommodate 16 families.

Each apartment consists of self contained 3-bedroomed unit. "Through the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) the private sector can partner with public institutions to construct houses for civil servants all Tanzanians in general," he said.

He mentioned efforts taken by the government in reducing the shortage as the enactment of the Mortgage Finance Act and establishment of the Tanzania Mortgage Refinancing Company (TMRC), all geared at providing loans for construction of houses.

The government has also amended the Rent Restriction Act of 1984 and enacted the Unit Tittle Act in a bid to attract private investors in the sector, according to Dr Bilal. The government has about 450,000 employees and each year it employs 35,000 new workers on average and thus a need to have adequate housing for them, the VP said. Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli, warned local contractors against shoddy work.

"The government is committed to offer construction contracts to local contractors provided they perform their work effectively," the minister warned. Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Building Agency (TBA), Mr Elius Mwakalinga, said the institution aims to build 10,000 houses for public servants by the year 2016.

"We initiated the five-year programme in 2001 and we aim to reach a target of constructing 10,000 houses by 2016," the TBA chief said. This year alone, he was optimistic that the agency will have constructed 2,500 houses in various parts of the country.

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