Ethiopia: Housing Corp Set to Build Apartments for 2b Br

The buildings will have 500 to 600 business and residential units

The Federal Housing Corporation is gearing up to construct four mixed-use apartment buildings in the capital for an estimated two billion Birr investment.

Three of the apartment buildings will each have 10 storeys with two basement levels and will be built in the Kebena, Kokebe-Tsibah and Misrak Atekalay neighborhoods. The fourth building, which is planned to be constructed in Somali Tera, will have 20 floors and three basement levels.

Expected to be completed within 18 to 24 months, the buildings will have 500 to 600 units that are designated to be used for residential and commercial purposes. The apartments, which are planned to rest on 2,000Sqm to 3,000Sqm of land, will be equipped with generators, elevators and parking areas.

The first five floors of the building in Somali Tera area will have commercial centres, and the rest of the storeys will be for residential use, while the building at Kebe-Tsibah will commit its first and second floors for commercial purposes.

To hire companies that will build the apartments, the Federal Housing Corporation, who will designate the residential units for public servants and plans to rent the commercial units, floated an international tender earlier this month.

The construction of the buildings will begin before January 2020, according to Reshad Kemal, director-general of the Federal Housing Corporation, which was re-established in March 2017 with 33.2 billion Br in capital and currently operates with 1,500 employees.

The Corporation, which administers 18,000 residential and commercial units that had been constructed during the Dergueregime, has never built any units since then. However, it kicked off the construction of five buildings this year at a cost of 1.8 billion Br. The seven to ten storey buildings, which will be constructed on 1.9ha of land in total, will have 435 commercial and residential units.

Recently, the Housing Corporation, which generated 800 million Br in revenue in the last fiscal year, merged with the Building Materials Supply Enterprise, another state enterprise. It was also embroiled in a heated dispute with tenants over the rental fee adjustment it made for the first time in 43 years. The proposed rental fee increase went as high as 6,784pc at National Stadium and 521pc in the Lancha neighborhood.

An asset evaluation conducted by the Corporation that was started in 2018 and completed this year shows that the Corporation's assets are valued at 70 billion Br.

Messele Haile (PhD), a lecturer at Addis Abeba University's Civil Engineering Department, recommends that the construction of the buildings be in line with the master plan of the city.

"The buildings should also consider facilities for people with disabilities, have green areas and be aesthetically pleasant," Messele added.

Henok Semaw, dean of the business and economics faculty at Haramaya University, also sees the positive impact of the building in stimulating business activities in the areas where the apartments will be built.

However, Henok cautioned the Corporation to allot the business units to the appropriate renters.

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