National Housing Policy moves a gear up – high rise buildings key to urban development

By ZBC Reporters

GOVERNMENT’S National Housing Policy has moved a gear up, with Cabinet endorsing the regulations, implementation and completion of various housing projects countrywide.

The 2022 first Cabinet meeting cast a ray of hope for thousands of home-seekers who have been living in a dilemma owing to various challenges, chief among them, land barons.

The Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Honourable Daniel Garwe unpacked the short, medium- and long-term plan by the government to attain decent housing for all citizens in line with Vision 2030.

“The President has pledged not to leave anyone or any place behind, so the process of regularisation has started. We have engaged the teams which will do the physical planning in line with the best standards to provide decent housing and social amenities. Cabinet has approved it. So, under this, Caledonia, Harare South and various other settlements will be properly planned and after this process title deeds will be given as enunciated by the President. So, it’s game on. No one will be left behind,” he said.

Works have commenced at more than 50 housing project sites identified across the country, with flats and other housing units now at various stages of completion.

“We have flats in Dzivarasekwa now 70 per cent complete. We have other flats commissioned by the President and housing schemes handed over to the home seekers. This is what we want to make sure that all home-seekers are landlords by 2030,” he added.

The regularisation and construction of new houses dovetails with the Second Republic’s vision of providing decent housing to 220 000 beneficiaries, come 2025.

Meanwhile, urban planning experts have lauded government efforts in housing development, calling for a paradigm shift to the construction of skyscrapers, amid an ever-increasing population against depleting space in cities and towns.

“It is commendable to see that the government is prioritising housing development and it is now incumbent that efforts should be towards erecting skyscrapers as a sustainable way of development which can be massively done on a small piece of land to accommodate many people,” said an engineer, Martin Kambanja.

“As urban planners, we are excited in the path that has been taken by the Second Republic in as far as housing construction is concerned. As such, we are of the view that there is a need to bring sustainability to this critical human need where we maximise the finite resource which is the land,” said public policy expert, Edward Chimedza.

Besides the regularisation of illegal settlements, the government has launched a massive and affordable housing fund targeting civil servants and non-government employees as the Second Republic demonstrates its commitment to providing decent accommodation to citizens.

Economic analysts believe the level of housing development is an economic barometer to progress towards achieving Vision 2030.