Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says it has stopped engaging private housing developers and would now begin dealing directly with residents on the housing waiting list.
The local authority has been engaging private developers to assist in clearing its housing backlog that stands at over 100 000.
City mayor Thaba Moyo said council had since cut ties with private developers because they had not been very helpful in clearing the housing backlog.
At a service delivery conference, organised by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association in Bulawayo at the weekend, Moyo said:
“Plans are in place to make sure that we begin dealing directly with residents instead of private developers to clear the housing backlog we have.
“We will obviously begin with people who have been on the housing waiting list for a long time.”
Moyo said different schemes had already been installed to ensure the backlog was cleared.
“We already have various schemes in place to cater for people who want to buy stands in the low, medium and high-density suburbs,” he said.
“Private developers have not lessened our housing challenge, hence this new initiative to reduce the backlog.”
The mayor said the issue was not lack of space to build new houses, but the land needed to be serviced first.
The local authority had not built any houses since 2000, he said.
“What is important is that we have to have the land serviced first. That is availing water and sewer reticulation as well as electricity.”
The local authority and the National Social Security Authority have negotiated a housing partnership that would result in the servicing and development of 800 stands.
BCC recently said it required more that $60 million to effectively address the housing problem in the city.