18 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Sitting Tenants to Get Houses

Chitungwiza Municipality is set to convene a meeting to approve a home ownership scheme that will allow it to sell 50 houses in Unit N, Chitungwiza, to sitting tenants, it has been learnt. The houses, which were previously tied to members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), will be offered to tenants with a two-year proven record of tenancy.

Chitungwiza Municipality director of Housing and Community Services Mrs Hazel Sithole said the new initiative follows a council resolution and Government directive to sell the houses.

"We advertised for the sale of the 50 houses and all the sitting tenants applied for the home ownership scheme," said Mrs Sithole.

"We have a council resolution made by the caretaker council that we need to offer the houses to the sitting tenants who have been there for two years. This is also in line with a ministerial directive to local authorities ordering them to offer all rented accommodation to home ownership (scheme). This applies to sitting tenants, who get the right of first refusal to purchase the houses. The Government crafted a deliberate housing policy aimed at empowering the majority by granting title to those who resided in urban areas throughout the country".

She said as a result, some rented properties which were administered by urban local authorities as rented accommodation were converted to ownership schemes.

"The 21 days that we indicated in our advert lapsed on October 5. We are now left with coming up with the date for the allocation committee to sit so that they discuss to consider the applications in case of objections. Those without objections will be successful. In case of any objections, the committee will consider them and we will recommend for resolution to full council. In case of objections, cases shall be treated individually and assessed on their own merit. She said after that they will come up with a proposed payment plan to be approved by the caretaker council," she said.

"People are always difficult to persuade when it comes to payments and they usually need that extra push, sometimes, for them to respond. The offer letter shall contain the terms and conditions of the offer."

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