By Pauline Chateuka
Harare City Council (HCC) is set to repossess residential stands issued to cooperatives and housing assistance pay schemes, which are failing to pay for the allocated land.
The stands were allocated to individuals between 2005 and 2017.
According to recent minutes of the council’s housing and community services and licensing committee, the stands have to be reallocated to other beneficiaries.
HCC’s housing and social development director Mr Edmore Nhekairo said cooperatives and pay schemes had failed to meet the deadline for payments.
“Schemes/housing cooperatives were allocated land between 2005 and 2017 and were required to pay intrinsic land prices within stipulated period for the allocated stands, but up to now some of them had not yet complied,” said Mr Nhekairo.
“Continuous engagements had been made to motivate the housing pay schemes /housing cooperatives to liquidate their intrinsic land prices obligations, but to no avail.
“In other instances, payment plans were entered into, but some of the housing pay schemes/housing cooperatives had not honoured the payment plans,” he said.
However, council is proposing a phased approach to repossessing the stands, starting with those allocated in 2015.
But the affected stand-owners will be notified of the exercise through the Press.
It is believed that the stands of those who fail to comply will be allocated to qualifying beneficiaries on the housing waiting list.
HCC recently stopped issuing land to housing cooperatives as part of a deliberate move to protect unsuspecting home-seekers from being fleeced by land barons.
As a result, cooperatives that had not been allocated land before the review, will not be accommodated.
Members of such schemes have since been advised to deal directly with council.