Sunday, 17 December 2017

HRE TO BUILD HOUSES FOR THE HOMELESS

Harare City Council is set to construct 242 semi-detached houses for homeless people under the slum upgrading programme.

 According to recent minutes of the Environment Management Committee, director of works Engineer Zvenyika Chawatama sought council permission to use a piece of land in Mabvuku where the city and its partners would build a core house of two rooms and a toilet for each family.

The city will leave room for expansion and to maximise the benefits, as well as accommodate as many families as possible, the proposed developer had decided to fit two families per 200 square metre stand.

“The property was situated within zone residential of the operative Harare Mabvuku Layout Plan area, wherein the proposed development required the special consent of the Local Planning Authority after necessary advertising and notification procedures,” reads part of the minutes.

“After the advertising and notification procedures connected with this application, no letters of objection or representation had been received.

“The director of works (Eng Chawatama) reported that the programme was geared to house homeless people who could not afford to buy stands upfront from council.”

Eng Chawatama said council was selling unserviced land which would need to be serviced by the beneficiaries, who, in this instance, were the poor slum dwellers at Gunhill who have no means to raise the needed finances for servicing.

He said the beneficiaries were asked to pool money in preparation for the programme to pay intrinsic land value, service, relocation and other associated costs, but to date very little had been collected.

“Sharing the stand between two families will reduce their estimated costs by almost half,” said Eng Chawatama.
“The programme had been overwhelmed by demand in that 121 stands allocated were not sufficient to house all people from Gunhill, who were in excess of 150 families,” reads the minutes.

“The figure was also a conservative estimate since some people have come to the informal settlement after the enumeration exercise such that if only the original families were considered, it would still leave a vibrant squatter community after relocation.”

Eng Chawatama told councillors that in line with the provisions of the Harare Combination Master Plan and the city’s vision to achieve a world class city status by 2025, densification was the way to go as it embodied global best practices and environmental sustainability.
Council resolved to grant the permit authorising the erection of 242 housing units subject to the conditions outlined by Eng Chawatama. herald

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