Business Development

Government confident of clearing housing backlog before 2025: Minister

Hon Garwe touring Penrose project

By Elvis Dumba

Nyabira – National Housing and Social Amenities minister, Hon Daniel Garwe said government is set to meet its ambitious target to construct 320 000 houses by 2025 using new building technologies.

Government seeks to clear a housing backlog of about 2 million to achieve the aim of National Development Strategy on housing provision.

In an interview with this publication after touring Penrose Housing Development in Nyabira under Mashonaland West province, Hon Garwe said the ministry is adopting cost-effective methods to meet the target.

“I want to clear or deal with the fears. A lot of citizens are asking: ‘Are we going to deliver the 320 000 houses by 2025?’ The answer is, we will probably meet the target before that because we have now adopted new methods of construction,” he said.

“There are now new methods of construction, so yes, we will meet the target. We are aware that there is a backlog of 2 million houses. We want to assure stakeholders that by the time we reach 2030, there will be no housing backlog in the country.”

Penrose, which covers 143 hectares of land, is being developed by Leengate Land Developers. Projects manager Kennedy Bhunu said there would be 2 905 units at Penrose, with two primary schools, one secondary school, clinics and other social amenities with the project expected to be complete in the next two years.

The area will also have a borehole water system with support from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority.

“The developer has responded to dictates of human settlement, which makes it easier for the provision of title deeds. I hope council will give the certificate of compliance to the developer as soon as the project is complete,” Hon Garwe said.

Meanwhile, Leengate is having challenges with squatters adjacent to the Penrose project, a situation hampering developments on the land.

Zvimba Rural District Councillor for Ward 26, Tichatonga Dickson Bako confirmed the challenge and said plans to relocate the squatters are already in progress

“We had 95 squatters here, but some have already moved off and we are left with 25. We told them that we will fight for them to be properly settled,” he said.

The settlers were evicted from the nearby Backdon Farm.

Hon Garwe said government through the Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution’s, Hon Mary Mliswa’s office, would provide alternative land for the squatters.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende