A House Needs To Cost Less Than US$5 000 - Mafume On Housing Options

6 months agoThu, 28 Dec 2023 05:10:23 GMT
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A House Needs To Cost Less Than US$5 000 - Mafume On Housing Options

Recently re-elected Harare mayor Jacob Mafume (JM) has said the local government authority was working on measures to ensure that the cost of houses comes down to US$5000 to make them affordable for low-income earners to build their own homes. During an interview with NewsDay reporter Sharon Buwerimwe to discuss his plans after bouncing back into the office, Mafume discussed his plans to address the issue of settlements and provide affordable housing options.

Mafume acknowledged the recent incidents of flooding in areas like Budiriro 4 Paddock and Kuwadzana Extension. The Zimbabwe Republic Police announced last week that 15 houses were partially submerged in water in Budiriro after recent heavy rains leaving several people stranded and a six-year-old girl missing.

When asked what the local government authority was planning to do about the settlement issue, Mafume emphasized that housing is a problem that needs to be addressed at both the city and national levels. He said:

We are also addressing the issue of settlements. We know there are floods, people are living in areas where they are not supposed to be living. I also visited Budiriro to see the houses. Housing is a city problem and a national problem.

We need to find a solution around housing. Firstly, we need to deal with the approval of our houses. What we define as a house is now a colonial structure.

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We need to change our materials, we need to reduce the cost for someone building a house so that they don’t stay in shacks.

So we are going to ask our planning department to experiment with new methodologies — panel building, a house needs to cost less than US$5 000 for it to be a low-cost housing.

We need to put up a house with very limited amounts of money and I think technology has improved the extent that we can build a decent low-cost house.

Our country does not experience earthquakes, does not have instability, therefore, there is really no need of building some of these monuments to nothing.

Every year, more than 50 families in Budiriro face floods because their houses are built in wetlands. The majority of wetlands invaders just construct houses without permission while some buy land from landbarons who are also not authorised to sell it by the local government. As a result, thousands of people have lost their homes over the years when the authorities demolished their structures. Sadly, they are not compensated or given new land. Urban and semi-urban areas suffer from a severe housing shortage due to the influx of people moving to cities. 

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