Zimbabwe: U.S.$62 Million OM Housing Scheme Nears Completion

Old Mutual Zimbabwe is on the verge of completing its US$62 million low-cost housing scheme in Harare's Budiriro area with the first batch of the 3 102 units scheduled to be handed over to buyers in the first quarter of 2014.

The project is part of the company's five- year plan to produce 15 000 low income housing units across the country and is funded from internal resources.

Under the scheme, Old Mutual Zimbabwe provides mortgage for housing projects though its banking subsidiary CABS, with Old Mutual Property providing management services. Old Mutual Life Assurance Company and RM Insurance provide cover for the home owners.

Managing director Jonas Mushosho told journalists at the construction site that 1 593 houses will be handed over at the end of phase one of the project which started in 2011.

"This is as a project targeting first time home owners in the low-income bracket and is not an opportunity for people to further their riches," Mushosho said.

"Repayment is 25% cash deposit plus monthly installments of between US$246 and US$276 per month depending on the option you have taken."

He said beneficiaries should be on the city of Harare's housing waiting list and earn a maximum of US$2 000 per month. The City Council is responsible for the actual allocation of property. According to the company, the properties are divided into 2 695 stands being 300 square metres and 407 stands measuring 240 square metres

There are three types of houses: Type A which is 27 square metres built up two roomed core house, Type A+ which is 64 square metres being 27 square metres built up two roomed house plus 37 square metres plinth for three rooms. The A+ type provides the home owner an opportunity to immediately extend the house using a given plan at a cost of around US$5 000. Type B is 47 square metres being four rooms built up.

The cost of the houses ranges between US$20 000 and US$30 000 and is payable over 10 years.

"The type of stands a have a provision to allow for extension of the houses to a maximum of 168m square metres for the 240 square metres stands and a maximum of 210 square metres for the 300 square metres stands," the company said.

Phase two of the project has 1 509 stand which will have on-site roads and storm water drainage, on site sewer and water reticulation.

Old Mutual said tenders for on-site infrastructure works for the second phase are currently being evaluated.

Additional work for the multimillion project is a five mega litre reservoir in the Kambuzuma area which will service the project and surrounding areas.

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