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LaFarge banks on affordable housing

LAFARGE Cement Zimbabwe is prospecting for affordable housing projects in and around Harare after it delivered 85 housing units in the capital.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

The company’s communications manager, Tsungie Manyeza told NewsDay in emailed responses that there was a growing demand for affordable housing and the company had embarked on low cost housing project in order to address accommodation challenges.

“To date, we have completed 85 housing units in Adelaide Park and [we] are currently running a 267-unit construction project at Knockmalloch in partnership with National Building Society and Urban Development Corporation,” she said.

“We are continuing to prospect for other opportunities for affordable housing projects in and around Harare and have a view to spread out to other towns.”

The affordable housing programme, Manyeza said, was driven by a partnership consisting of the local government, finance institutions, land developers and LaFarge as the project manager.

“This partnership complement is set up to ensure affordable access to land, financing, and land development services through mass construction of houses. The role of LaFarge in this arrangement is to ensure availability of quality construction products at affordable prices and to lead in the management of the projects,” she said.

Manyeza said the programme was a response to the rising need for home ownership by Zimbabweans and the government’s effort to deliver housing to all as pronounced in the 2014 National Housing Development Strategy.

“There is a growing demand for affordable housing and LaFarge Cement Zimbabwe is positioned as a partner of choice based on our drive to help cities build better,” she said.

According to experts, Zimbabwe needs an estimated 15 to 20 years to clear its national housing backlog, which has been ballooning in recent years, pushed by the increased rural to urban migration.

The national housing backlog is currently estimated at 1,3 million, with Harare alone requiring about half a million units.

SOURCE: NEWSDAY

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