According to the Bellagio Housing Declaration (2005) housing is more than shelter as it is a powerful engine that creates opportunity and economic growth. In its National Housing Policy (1999), the Government of Zimbabwe argues that housing should not be extricated from the communities in which it is found. For this reason, discussion about housing in the context of socio-economic development includes; water supply, sanitary provisions, electricity supply, sewer reticulation, ICTs for connectivity and roads provision. There is serious pressure in the country's major cities due to rapid growth in urban population through rural to urban migration, natural urban population growth against limited resources to support urban infrastructure development resulting in a severe strain on urban services. Given the population surge, there is an acute shortage of affordable housing even for the poor. This therefore calls for action to be taken to arrest deteriorating living conditions among urban dwellers. In response to the national and international calls, the Bank has focused on development of onsite and offsite infrastructure to facilitate sustainable housing development. Below is a brief outline of the housing projects which the Bank is currently engaged in and future plans in the sector.
Bank Housing Projects
- Clipsham Views- Masvingo
The project entails the development of 205.7 hectares of land into residential, commercial, industrial and institutional stands on Lot 2 of Clipsham, a site located some 5km outside Masvingo town along the Masvingo – Beitbridge highway. The project is targeted at developing 704 low density residential stands, 26 service industrial stands, 24 institutional stands and 16 commercial stands. Clipsham Views is the newest and most exciting housing development in Masvingo with beautiful scenic views and unique landscape.
The scope of works on the project includes construction of on-site infrastructure comprising roads, storm-water drainage, water reticulation and electricity reticulation and attendant off-site infrastructure, i.e. bulk water piping and electricity sub-stations. The total development cost for the whole project is estimated at US$6.7 million. As of 16 September 2016 the Bank had disbursed a cumulative amount of US$ 1, 520,000.00 towards implementation of the project. The residential stands from the project which range in size from 1390 square meters to 2500 square meters are already selling at US$ 13 per square meter, with an initial sign-on deposit of 25% of total selling price and balance payable over ten years at an interest rate of 13% per annum. IDBZ offers prospective home owners a Home Saver Account which is affordable and tax free to facilitate the accumulation through savings of the required initial deposit over a period of up to 6months for individual applicants. (see Advert for Stands at Clipsham).The servicing of the stands is expected to be completed in December 2016.
- New Marimba- Harare
This project is located in Harare, near the existing Marimba suburb and is expected to deliver 340 serviced stands, with 202 high density stands and 138 medium density stands. The total development cost for the project is estimated at US$2 million and as at 16 September 2016, US$ 369,000.00 had been disbursed towards implementation of the project. Site handover to the Contractor, Masimba Holdings, was done on the 3rd of May 2016 to facilitate commencement of site servicing works. Stands from the projects are all sold out.
In the last quarter of 2015, the Bank issued its maiden Housing Bond of US$5 million through private placement to finance the development of two these housing projects, namely New Marimba Park in Harare and Clipsham Views in Masvingo. The projects are part of a broader intervention by the Bank in the housing sector where the Bank is focused on funding on-site and off-site infrastructure including roads, water and sewerage facilities and electricity.
- Collaboration with the Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP) for Development of New Towns
The Bank has partnered UDCORP in the development of new towns on agreed sites within the proximity of some of the major urban centres and these projects include the following:
- Norton – Knockmalloch (6 000 stands)
- Manyame (80 000 stands)
- Chishawasha B (40 000 stands)
- Bulawayo (Umvutcha B) (20 000 stands)
The designs of the new towns are expected to cater for all classes of the working class home seekers as well as take into account the prevalence of the informal sector. The new towns will also be on mixed use concepts which will accommodate clusters and flats on up to 10% of the land conceded for the project site. The IDBZ will be responsible for project structuring, mobilisation of resources and financial structuring whereas UDCORP through the Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing (MLGPWNH) shall facilitate site acquisitions of suitable land to implement the project as well as obtaining the necessary development permits and approvals.
National Housing Projects
Since 2013 – the Bank concluded an agency agreement with Government of Zimbabwe through the then Ministry of National Housing in which the IDBZ manages, monitors and oversees the implementation of projects under the National Housing Fund including handling the collections of instalment payments by beneficiaries towards the purchase of sold units. The following projects are under the Bank’s monitoring and oversight in terms of this arrangement with Government:
- Mbizo 22 (Kwekwe)
- Dzivarasekwa (Harare)
- Carrick Creigh (Harare)
- Sunway City (Harare)
- Chikanga (Mutare)
- Paradise Park (Marondera)
- Parkland Mews (Bulawayo)
The Bank in partnership with local authorities and the National Housing Fund implemented the following housing projects: Mbizo 22 which produced 200 serviced high density residential stands, Willowvale which had 78 units of walk up flats and Graniteside Park Flats with 60 units of walk up flats.
- Future Projects
In addition to the projects already highlighted the Bank is also targeting the development of housing projects in Marondera; Lupane; Gweru; Chinhoyi; Bulawayo and Mutare through various structures which will include but not limited to joint venture arrangements with local authorities and private developers with uncontested land.
In this regard and in order to fund the projects, the Bank was granted authority by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to issue Housing Bonds of up to US$100 million over a 5-year period to finance various affordable housing projects across the country. The Bank will thus be issuing further tranches of Housing Bonds to fund housing projects from different sites as and when projects are fully developed and ready for market.
These housing sector interventions, which are on a national scale, are necessary to meet the high demand for fully serviced residential stands in most towns and to address the national backlog set at 1.25 million housing units in the country’s main urban centres and also to fulfil the ZimAsset target set for housing delivery by 2018.