The Division is managed by Mrs. B.R Mandizha and is responsible for the management of housing matters; maintenance of the Housing Waiting List; allocation of rented accommodation and residential stands and planning of new housing projects.
Housing Allocations Section
The Housing Waiting List
At the end of 2010, the council Housing Waiting List had 49 672 applicants. The demand for housing in Harare is on an upward trend. All residents of Harare in need of stands or houses should register with this division and be put on the housing waiting list. All applicants on the waiting list are obliged to renew annually their waiting list details in line with the new Housing Policy failure of which they will be disqualified from the same.
Council Rented Accommodation
Harare City Council has houses in most of the suburbs in Harare. These houses are supposed to benefit serving City of Harare employees. However, most of these houses are occupied by illegal tenants and council is finding it difficult to evict them because of political reasons.
Research and Planning Section
The Section is responsible for the collection of data used in the Department’s housing delivery processes. The key result areas include interviewing prospective housing beneficiaries, monitoring of housing projects in progress, planning of new housing projects and attending to request for housing information by various authorities and stakeholders.
Planning and Implementation of New Housing Projects
The major housing projects that the Section dealt with are as follows:
Slum Upgrading Project
The City partnered with Dialogue on Shelter (DOS) and Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation (ZIHOPFE), all non-governmental organizations, which sought funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the project.
The partners managed to accomplish most of the agreed preliminary works such as acquisition of necessary resources; mapping of settlements/areas; sensitization/profiling and capacity building of staff involved in the project. It was however unfortunate that one of the areas that had been earmarked for urban renewal, Mbare Township, was not profiled because of political reasons, as a result, partners shifted their focus to assisting slum dwellers in Dzivaresekwa Extension. It is hoped that in the year 2012 some work on the ground, such as the installation of infrastructure and construction of houses will commence.
The CABS project in Budiriro
In 2009, CABS had approached the City with a view to funding development of low cost housing, however at the time the City did not have land that was readily available for development. In the year 2010, after consultations with relevant sister Departments, land suitable for CABS was identified in Budiriro, as a result, urban planning processes where then instituted. In September 2010 Council also approved that CABS be offered land in Budiriro for development in phases.
Proposed Construction of flats in Crowborough by Pearl Properties
At the end of 2010, Council responded positively to Pearl Properties’ proposal to construct eleven blocks of flats (132 units) in Crowborough township. During the year 2011, processes that would lead to concluding a Memorandum of Agreement with the said partner were initiated:
- Pearl Properties’ draft Memorandum of Agreement was sent to sister Departments for the purpose of getting their input.
- Interdepartmental consultative meetings were conducted.
Glaudina Housing Development Project
The project is a company assisted housing scheme comprising twenty nine companies that were allocated one thousand three hundred and fifty one (1351) residential stands in the year 2007. Considering the magnitude of the project and the lack of satisfactory progress, it was important to closely monitor the development activities of the consortium of companies. This was done by making site visits which revealed that roads had since been opened and trenching was in progress. Monitoring of the project was also done by attendance to onsite meetings, annual general meeting (AGM), general meetings and meetings with the consortium leadership.
The Consortium was affected by some problems which led to the delay in completing the installation of required infrastructure. Below are some of the major challenges:
- Misappropriation of funds by some of the Consortium officials who were then replaced at the AGM.
- The Consortium was defrauded by a contractor who overcharged the companies.
- There was delay in delivery of materials (AC pipes) by Turnall Holdings.
- Some member companies were not consistently contributing monthly subscriptions.
Proposed Development of Chizhanje Area, Mabvuku. By Shelter Zimbabwe
Shelter Zimbabwe, a private land development company, which once partnered the City in servicing residential stands in Glen View 7, approached the City with a view to servicing the area in Mabvuku. Having initially applied for the land in 2008, it now sought to fully engage the City since it had formed a Consortium of specialist companies to enable it to service the huge land which might yield between six to seven thousand residential stands. In view of the above, the Section instituted interdepartmental consultations to be concluded in the following year.
Proposed servicing of forty two residential stands in Mabvuku by CYBC
In 2007, the City had earmarked forty residential stands identified in Mabvuku for the above youth organization, however the partnership did not materialize because the then Ministry of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation was unable to financially support the youth organization as had been anticipated. In the year under review, the youth organization, having mobilized resources, then approached the City again with a view to resuscitating the partnership in servicing the said stands in Mabvuku. After interdepartmental consultations, a report to seek Council’s approval of the project was then written towards the end of the year.
The section is responsible for the promotion of co-operative societies for housing development, income generating projects and urban or peri-urban agriculture. The table below depicts the number and types of Co-operatives that the Section established, registered, and trained during the year 2011: