Chiredzi residents are appealing to the local authority to review conditions around the selling of housing stands in line with the current economic climate.
In an interview last week, Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers’ Association chairman Mr Jonathan Muusha said they were concerned with the current requirements involved in acquiring residential stands in the sugarcane-growing town.
He said recently the local authority allocated housing stands which require the beneficiaries to pay 75 percent of the sale price as deposit within two weeks.
On average, a stand costs $16 000 in Chiredzi.
Mr Muusha said such an arrangement was not sustainable under the current economic situation.
“We are very much delighted that council has decided to allocate medium-density stands to home-seekers,” he said.
“The number of residents on the housing waiting list is over 20 000, a sign that many people in our town are in need of housing land.
“Despite the good deeds, the council is demanding us to pay 75 percent on the total cost of the stand. This is rather a difficult task given that we are preparing for the opening of schools.”
Mr Muusha said as an association they were appealing to the local authority to extend the payment period, arguing that two weeks was a short time given the amount of money that is required to pay for a single stand.
Secretary-general of the United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers’ Association Mr Bernard Dhachi also weighed in, saying council should increase the payment period to accommodate the poor.
“Council must not neglect the demands of poor residents who are in need of stands to construct houses,” he said.
“Surely, the 75 percent which is being demanded by the local authority in two weeks is just a way of segregating the poor who are banking on this opportunity.”
Mr Dhachi said the price increase effected by council was unjustified considering that some beneficiaries had bought stands at lower prices.
“They (local authority) are now demanding $26 per square metre while they initially launched the project charging $16 per square metre,” he said, calling for a fair price.