BULAWAYO City Council will soon provide more housing stands to residents in an effort to ease the housing backlog, which now stands at more than 100 000.
The local authority reportedly said 875 stands in Luveve 5, 546 in Magwegwe North, 169 stands in Mahatshula and 541 in Emhlangeni would be allocated.
According to a council report, the local authority was still working on the costs of servicing the stands as well as stand prices.
“The cost of servicing and stand prices are yet to be provided to the department, but the intention is to allocate the stands as soon as possible after receipt from the director of engineering services,” reads the report.
“However, the stands, being so few and allocations previously discussed recommendation of extraction of names are from housing waiting lists, as well as taking into account the excess from Luveve allocations.”
The local authority said it would advertise in the media and place posters at all housing offices.
“Public forum is opened for interested residential stand buyers to register using their waiting list forms, which are paid for annually and must be up to date with payments,” reads the report.
The local authority said it would conduct interviews with prospective stand buyers and the selection would be based on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Once successful, the candidate is immediately given a pro forma invoice valid for a month after paying the required 35% deposit plus 15% VAT, the client brings the bank receipts to the respective housing officer and is given an offer letter with a stipulated payment plan of 18 months,” the report says.
“The offer letter has a stand number on it.”
Council said it will work with the private sector in servicing stands at Emhlangeni.
“After the procurement of equipment, council and the private sector will complement each other in servicing the stands, where council would service some projects and the private sector service others to achieve efficient delivery,” reads the report.
Council has managed to service only 15 000 housing stands in the last 15 years, but the number of people on the waiting list keeps growing.
Council senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu reportedly said those who were financially stable could purchase stands from private developers, as the council alone could not satisfy demand from house seekers.
About 85% of people on Bulawayo’s housing waiting list can only afford low-cost housing, with only the remainder affording houses meant for the medium-to-high income earners.