THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) has received a record demand from potential customers who have posted down payments for the purchase of 182 low-cost residential houses to be constructed at Kibada in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam Region.
Requests for the houses started being registered on January 2 and the corporation was forced to end the exercise the following day after receiving more than 120 per cent of the 182 houses on offer."This was historic. It has never happened before. We never expected to have such an overwhelming turnout. This shows that demand for cheap houses in the country is very high," NHC's Sales Manager Mr William Genya told the 'Daily News' .
The low-cost housing project at Kibada in Kigamboni was launched late last year by President Jakaya Kikwete by laying a foundation stone.The housing estate, which is among more than 10 other similar projects being implemented countrywide by the housing corporation, will include basic infrastructure and recreational facilities.
The corporation's target is to construct 15,000 residential houses by the year 2015, a move that will help satiate the high demand for homes in the country. Mr Genya said that the applications to buy the houses stood at 120 per cent against the offer of 182 housing units in Kibada.
"This was a first come first served mode. Once we receive payments for all the available houses for each project, we close the sales," he explained.He urged members of the public to be on the alert. Announcements for sales of the corporation's other low-cost housing units in other regions and districts around the country are made any time.
Regions and districts where NHC is constructing low-cost houses include Movemero in Morogoro region, Kongwa in Dodoma, Ilembo in Katavi, Geita region and Mkinga in Tanga.Other areas are Babati in Manyara region, Monduli and Longido in Arusha region, Mkuzo in Songea region and Unyakumi in Singida region.
He noted that the high turnout for the Kibada low-cost housing project shows that the demand for cheap houses in the country is higher than NHC can meet and called on other stakeholders to come up with similar low-cost housing projects to help meet the high demand in the country.
Commending on prices, Mr Genya noted that a two bedrooms residential house costs 46.98m/- and a three bedrooms unit fetches 53.76m/- Value Added Tax (VAT) included.Although some people complain that the prices are high, Mr Genya explained, it is due to other costs that the NHC has to incur including putting in place infrastructure such as water, roads and electricity.
The corporation also faces higher taxes on building and construction materials, costs that are eventually passed on to customers.
"If you look at it in terms of value for money, the price is really not high, given the fact that we have to incur the costs of putting in place all necessary infrastructure," he explained.
He noted that if NHC would get support in constructing the require infrastructure as well as be allocated land by respective councils to build the low costs houses, the prices would go down considerably.During the laying of the foundation stone, NHC Director General Mr Nehemiah Kyando-Mchechu and the Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr Goodluck Ole-Medeye, had expressed concern that a number of factors, including VAT, were to blame for higher prices of the houses.