Fidelity Assurance Life Zimbabwe Limited has invested $5 million in the development of 317 medium to low-density residential stands in Manresa Fidelity Park in Arcturus to help ease the housing backlog in the country.
The servicing of the stands has already begun and is expected to be complete by January next year.
Fidelity Life chairperson, Solomon Tembo, said the works that will be done on the area include construction of tarred roads, storm water drainage, water and sewer reticulation.
Tembo said the project will be done on a 67-hectare piece of land with the first phase having 34 hectares while phase 2 will be 33 hectares.
“We are glad to advise that a strong demand for the serviced stands has been shown and we are not only motivated by our desire to meet our shareholders expectations, but we feel we are responding to a need,” he said.
Tembo said through the project they will not only address the housing backlog for the City of Harare, but also create employment in the economy.
He said opportunities for various service providers and suppliers of materials will be generated as well.
“On completion of Phase 1, and resources permitting and the environment being conducive, Fidelity Life Assurance will embark on the second phase on the remaining 33 hectares,” he said.
Tembo said Fidelity Life initially acquired the land for the purposes of setting up a cemetery, but the city fathers advised the company to use the land for the construction of houses. He said City of Harare made an undertaking to offer another piece of land for the cemetery.
The construction of the 317 houses in Manresa comes at a time when CABS has released $15 million for construction of houses, part of it having been channelled for the 1 500 low-cost houses in Budiriro.
National Housing and Social Amenities minister Giles Mutsekwa last month told Parliament that that the country’s housing backlog stood at a staggering 1,2 million applicants.
Mutsekwa said this was just the official figure, but the figure could be high as several local authorities did not have proper systems to capture all the necessary data.
“Throughout the whole world, governments alone are not be able to satisfy the housing needs of their own populations and Zimbabwe is not an exception.”
“In future, when I present the Land Developers Bill, I will strongly recommend that housing becomes the third urgent matter after health and education, because it is a major impediment to meeting the social needs of our people,” he said.