Bulawayo Eyes Low, Medium Density Stands

The City of Bulawayo intends to develop massive low and medium density residential stands in Woodvile and Paddonhurst respectively, according to a tender notice published last week.

Bulawayo is the country’s second largest city after Harare, with a population of about 654 000 at the last official count in 2012 by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency.

The city has, however, challenged the census results, putting the population at slightly above one million.

In a Government Gazette published last Friday, the City of Bulawayo invited bids for the development of the two housing projects by March 6 this year.

“City of Bulawayo invites bids from suitably qualified civil engineering contractors for the servicing of 144 low density housing stands on Woodvile and 14 medium density stands in Paddonhurst with roads, water and sewage reticulation,” reads part of the tender.

Bulawayo has a housing backlog of about 115 000 units and the city had been partnering local financial institutions to develop affordable residential stands. At national level, housing demand is estimated at 1,25 million units, well above what is available on the market. Government through Zim-Asset acknowledges that affordable home ownership is an essential characteristic of the concept of Zimbabwean citizenship.

The housing shortage, translates to a national backlog of five million people or 40 percent of total population.

The most available housing finance schemes have little incremental effect on the national housing stock as these are either exclusively packaged for a few targeted groups or are priced beyond the reach of the poor. Under Zim-Asset, Government intends to reduce housing backlog through the provision of serviced land, strengthen public private partnerships and adoption and adaptation of new building technology.

As such, the Government launched a new housing scheme known as Own Your Own Home Scheme.

Government is also working on creating three new towns near Harare and one near Bulawayo that are expected to usher in more than 150 000 houses as it moves to reduce the housing backlog.

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