KWEKWE City Council says it is planning to launch a low-cost housing scheme where beneficiaries would move in without paying a deposit as part of efforts to reduce the housing backlog.
Mayor Matenda Madzoke told NewsDay over the weekend that the pilot project of 20 low-cost houses to be built at a cost of $100 000 will be handed over to home seekers on the waiting list by mid-next year.
“We have the land and now we are going to start building the low-cost homes for people and instead of giving someone land, we will actually hand them keys to a house and they will have to buy it over a period of time,” Madzoke said.
Council last constructed houses for low-income earners in 1986 in Mbizo 7 and 6, with ownership of the homes having since been transferred to seating tenants on a home ownership scheme.
“We have not been able to build any house for our homeseekers for almost 20 years; council has been concentrating on selling land and most of it has ended in the hands on barons who have the means to build, while other have lost their land to repossessions,” he said.
In 2012, the local authority repossessed over 180 stands in Mbizo after residents who had initially bought the land failed to improve the land within the stipulated five-year period.
Currently, the housing waiting list has over 10 000 people as council struggles to provide serviced land to its residents.
“This will have to end; we have to ensure that part of the money collected by council from its ratepayers is used to build homes for the poor, we will continue to provide land for those who can afford to build their own homes and houses for those who cannot,” he said.