UDCORP set to complete housing projects in Norton and Manresa

28 Nov, 2018 - 17:11 0 Views
UDCORP set to complete housing projects in Norton and Manresa

eBusiness Weekly

HARARE – The Urban Development  Corporation (UDCORP) plans to complete development of its housing  schemes in Norton (Knockmalloch), about forty kilometers from West of  the capital and Manresa (Harare East) by the third quarter of 2019  having spent a cumulative $8.8 million on both projects so far.

The Norton project alone has 4 800 stands.`

UDCORP head management committee Hashmon Matemera said plans were also  in place to develop stands in other parts of the country starting next  year.

“We will complete them (stands in Norton and Manresa) in 2019 by third  quarter 2019. I think on Manresa we have spent $4.5 million and on  Norton $4.3 million,” he said.

“We are signing agreements and land purchases with various local  authorities in Plumtree, Chirundu, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Gweru so that we  start developing next year.”

Matemera said UDCORP was also angling to return to its core business of  urban planning, having focused in recent years on regularizing already  existing settlements.

“We are re-focusing the corporation back to its core business. We had  actually over time, lost the ability to engage into urban planning where  we anticipate urban trends and plan for them.

“What had happened is that because of poor capitalization and the  difficult economic environment urban councils were no longer paying for  master plans and that business went into the back seat and we now  focused more on regularization which is an assignment from government  where we are appointed as a project manager and a planner to regularize  existing settlements,” he said.

“We are now saying if we spent 50 percent of our time on regularization  let us now change so that we spend 80 percent of our time on core  business and 20 percent on the other business even in terms of resource  deployment as well.”

In January this year, the Real Estate Institute of Zimbabwe said the  country needed an estimated 15 to 20 years to clear its national housing  backlog, currently estimated at 1.3 million, with Harare alone requiring  about 500 000 units.

According to the Transitional Stabilization Program (TSP) which the  government launched last month, construction of low cost housing and  servicing of stands would be prioritized through the Infrastructure  Development Bank of Zimbabwe, UDCORP and the National Social Security  Authority.

The demand for houses is high in most urban areas, particularly Harare,  whose population has swelled as it is the main destination for the  rural-urban migration.

The situation has given rise to the sprouting of many illegal  settlements which resulted from the illegal sale of council and state  land by land barons to desperate home seekers. – New Ziana

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