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New Affordable Housing Development in Harare: A Step Towards Addressing the Housing Crisis
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New Affordable Housing Development in Harare: A Step Towards Addressing the Housing Crisis

The National Building Society (NBS) has broken ground on a new affordable housing project in Glaudina, western Harare, aimed at providing homes for 288 families. The development, consisting of nine blocks of flats, represents a positive step in addressing Harare's ongoing housing shortage, though much more remains to be done to meet the city's growing housing needs.

Two blocks of 64 units have already been commissioned, with the entire project expected to be completed within two years. This development is part of the government's efforts to deliver 220,000 houses and flats by 2025, in line with the National Development Strategy 1.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo emphasized the importance of building societies providing affordable housing options for upper-middle-income and medium-income earners. The minister urged for effective public-private partnerships to drive national development and address housing issues.

While this project is a welcome addition to Harare's housing stock, it's important to note the scale of the housing crisis in Zimbabwe's capital. The city's housing waiting list has grown from 151,000 in 2019 to approximately 800,000 in 2024, according to Harare City Council spokesperson Innocent Ruwende. This highlights the significant demand for affordable housing in the city.

The housing shortage has led to various challenges, including overcrowding in existing low-cost housing, the proliferation of informal settlements, and rising rental costs. Recent reports have highlighted cases of exorbitant rents, with some landlords charging as much as $220 for a two-room "cottage" in certain areas of Harare.

To address these issues, the government has announced plans to encourage vertical expansion in the city center and surrounding areas. This strategy aims to maximize land use and increase housing density. However, implementation of these plans will require significant investment in infrastructure and careful urban planning to ensure sustainable development.

While the NBS Glaudina project is a positive development, it's clear that much more needs to be done to address Harare's housing crisis. Continued collaboration between government, private sector, and civil society organizations will be crucial in developing comprehensive solutions to meet the growing demand for affordable housing in Zimbabwe's capital.

As Harare continues to grapple with its housing challenges, projects like the NBS Glaudina flats offer hope for some families. However, they also serve as a reminder of the ongoing need for innovative and large-scale solutions to ensure adequate housing for all of Harare's residents.