Council, CABS houses open to all

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The CABS/Harare City Council housing scheme in Budiriro continues to face a poor uptake, forcing the local authority to open the low-income earners’ programme to anyone who can afford, including those already with properties in Harare.

BY MOSES MATENGA

The programme, originally meant for more than 3 500 low-income earners, has now been extended to even the rich and multiple property owners.

According to the education, health and housing community committee, there was low uptake of the properties as it has become apparent that a majority of people in Harare could not afford them.

“However, it had become apparent that there was very low uptake of the completed housing units due to various reasons which included the economic environment, cost of the units and stringent financial requirements,” read the committee minutes in part.

Both CABS and the city had tried to give concessionary measures to try and improve the uptake, but there was no improvement, clear evidence that low income earners had failed to pay.

“At a meeting held the previous week between council officials and CABS, it was agreed that council authority be sought to open the housing scheme to people who were not first-time home owners to purchase the units,” council said.

The move has seen those already with properties in the city lining up to benefit from a scheme meant previously for low income earners.

The project targeted low-income, first-time homeowners, but given the economic environment, the targeted client base was failing to meet the deposit obligation.

Home seekers were expected to pay about $5 000 deposit for two-roomed houses that were being sold at a total cost of $22 000 while the four-roomed houses cost $27 000 with a deposit requirement of more than $7 000.