Despite tensions, the city administration has identified over 51,000 winners of housing units under its middle and lower-middle income housing schemes.
The Addis Abeba City Administration held raffles for 32,653 lower-middle and 18,576 middle income housing units, for home seekers who had deposited at least 40 consecutive months of installments. The raffle held at the Intercontinental Addis Hotel last Wednesday, March 7, 2019, was attended by Deputy Mayor Takelle Uma.
The housing units are at least 80pc complete and are expected to be delivered to the winners in June.
The 13th time that the city transferred lower-middle income housing units, five percent, 20pc and 30pc of which will go to disabled people, civil servants and women, respectively. The number of houses available in the scheme are made up of 1,248 studios, 18,823 single-bedroom, 7,127 two-bedroom and 5,455 three-bedroom units.
Residents of the city that registered for the scheme in 2005 but have not still received homes needed to have saved 40 consecutive months of payments to be eligible for this raffle. Those that registered in 2013 needed to have saved for 60 months to participate in the raffle. The housing units under this scheme are located in the Koye Feche and Yeka Abado sites, on the outskirts of the city.
"Farmers who were displaced from their land for the construction of the condominiums will be given houses at the new condominium sites," Takelle said, adding that the city never released how many housing units were involved.
Middle-income housing winners were also announced during the event, which was the second round of the scheme. In the previous round of the housing transfer program held in June 2017, a total of 2,605 housing units were transferred to the beneficiaries in a raffle system.
It included 3,060 one bedroom, 10,322 two bedroom and 5,194 three bedroom condominium houses. For participants to be considered in this round's draw they needed to have saved at least 40pc of the initial price of the houses.
Winners of this scheme were given units located in Bole Ayat, Hintsa Akrabi, Tourist, Meri Loqe, Bole Beshale, Ehilinigd, Bole Bulbula, Asko and Summit sites.
Housing projects in Ethiopia have involved more than 12,000 small and micro enterprises, over 2,000 contractors and have created more than a million jobs in the last 13 years, said Jantirar Abay minister of housing and urban development at the raffle ceremony.
Out of the 835,000 people who registered for apartment housings, only around 176,000 have received houses thus far.
While public housing is commended by experts, its implementation, as well as the choice of the locations has been criticized.
"The reason the buildings are made to be tall is to save space in the city and to be able to use prime land appropriately, that way the capital would have grown vertically instead of horizontally," says Berhanu Zeleke (PhD), a lecturer at Kotebe Metropolitan University and an expert in urban development studies.
The awarding of the units to residents of the city has also led to protests across the Oromia Regional State. The Oromia Democratic Party, the ruling party of the region, said that the transfer of houses to residents of the city was "inappropriate" given that there are administrative demarcations between the capital and the region that are not delineated.
Urbanisation is inevitable, some have tried to stop it but none have succeeded, proclaimed Berhanu.
"If people from rural parts of the country are evicted for development purposes, they should be compensated fairly according to the market price of the time," he told Fortune.
Before the end of this fiscal year the city administration plans to transfer 134,000 condominium housing units to beneficiaries. In the half year review session of the city's council held a month and a half a go, the City Administration disclosed that about 95,000 houses in the lower-middle income housing scheme and 38,000 housing units in the middle-income housing program are under construction.