Zimbabwe: Govt Unveils Affordable National Housing Programme

A massive and affordable housing fund targeting civil servants and non-Government employees has been unveiled as the Second Republic demonstrates commitment to providing decent accommodation to citizens.

The Musha-Muzi Housing Programme, which was approved by Cabinet on Tuesday, will anchor and facilitate the sustainable financing and development of affordable houses for the lowest-earning members of society.

This was revealed by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday.

She said the programme was presented by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, as Chairman of the Enhanced Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management.

"Cabinet was informed that the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) proposed the establishment of the Musha-Muzi Housing Fund. The fund will anchor and facilitate the sustainable financing and development of affordable houses for the lowest-earning members of society," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"An independent housing governance ecosystem will be created to operationalise the scheme and assure participants of utmost prudence in managing the fund.

"The programme comprises four phases. Phase 1 will target civil service employees and will be replicated countrywide, while phases 2, 3 and 4 will be extended to non-Government employees.

"The Musha-Muzi Programme will build a four-roomed house on a 200 square-metre piece of land. In redevelopment areas, the programme will focus on the construction of high-rise developments in areas already serviced by existing municipal facilities. For the high-rise developments, an average of 800 square metres will be required for development of four storey units to cater for 16 families."

Cabinet was told that the fund will, through its managers, approve and appoint qualified and competent developers for the construction of the housing units, with each developer expected to construct a minimum of 50 units or more per development, said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"Developers will be paid on satisfactory completion of each development.

"Meanwhile, interested financial institutions with the capacity to provide mortgage facilities within the required financial levels will be given a stock of housing units to release to the market.

"Identified and approved beneficiaries will then access mortgages through the institutions at the indicated affordable housing rates," she said.

The programme will be coordinated by the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, in consultation with all relevant critical stakeholders and will be based on a public-private partnership model.

In another matter, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet received an update on the identification and quantification of irregular and dysfunctional settlements, including in flood-prone areas presented by VP Chiwenga.

Cabinet was told that the identification and quantification of irregular and dysfunctional settlements, including in flood prone areas, had been completed.

"The verification of numbers of people affected is underway in all provinces in order to lock out opportunists, and will be completed by March 12, 2021.

"On the relocation strategy for settlements affected by flooding, Cabinet wishes to advise that the exercise to move affected households to holding camps has already started in the Harare Metropolitan Province, and will spread to all the other provinces.

"Households in Harare Metropolitan, Midlands and Manicaland provinces who are affected have been identified and quantified for relocation," she said.

Some of the areas that have been identified in Harare include Mbare, Tafara/Manresa, Dzivaresekwa, Prospect and Ardbennnie.

"In addition, high rise flats will be prioritised at former Messengers' Camps in all provincial capitals and some districts across the country," she said.

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