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JK: Sell plots at affordable prices to cut housing costs

14th December 2012
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  Banks urged to lower interest charges on housing loans
President Jakaya Kikwete braves the rain as he unveils a plaque marking the inauguration of some 35 houses that are compensation to the Gongolamboto ammunitions depot explosion victims. The construction was done by the Tanzania Peoples Defence Force (TPDF) in Msongola in Ilala district on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. Photo: Omar Fungo

President Jakaya Kikwete yesterday directed the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development to ensure that councils sell plots at affordable prices to enable Wananchi to buy houses built by the National Housing Corporation (NHC).

He also warned the councils to stop turning lands into a source of income by selling the plots in high prices to NHC and other investors, saying it has implication on the costs of the houses which will be built.

Kikwete made the remarks in Dar es Salaam yesterday when laying a foundation stone to mark the official construction of the NHC houses at Kigamboni, Kibada area.

A total of 290 houses will be constructed under the affordable houses scheme being implemented by the housing corporation.
The President gave the example of some councils which buy plots for 6m/- from ordinary people and sell them for upto 300m/-. As a result the houses which will be built in the area automatically attract high prices, he said.

“This habit cannot be left to continue …the ministry responsible should work on it to ensure that councils sell plots at reasonable prices,” he stressed.

The President also directed the Ministry of Finance to hold discussions with banks which have entered into contract with NHC to provide loans to people so that they can buy the corporation’s houses to reduce interest rates.

He said by doing so NHC will be in a position to sell the houses to many more people.
He also advised the NHC for the coming years to open a financial institution so as to reduce dependence on banks.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Goodluck Ole Medeye said the housing project was implementation of a strategic plan aiming at building 15,000 housing units countrywide by 2015.

Explaining the project the NHC Managing Director Nehemia Mchechu, said implementation started in November this year and was expected to be completed in May next year, adding that the houses will be sold for  between 45m/- and  52m/- per unit with VAT.
Mchechu said the price went up because NHC was supposed to put up all infrastructure at Kibada that was supposed to be done by other institutions.

Meanwhile, the President handed over 36 modern homes to the victims of last year’s Gongo la Mboto bomb blast, assuring them that those who were not fully compensated after the tragedy will soon receive their compensation.

He however, instructed the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) to fast track construction of the Banana-Kitunda _Msongole Road in order to facilitate movement of people and commodities.

Kikwete said the government has spent over 665bn/- for compensation, renovation of some buildings, construction of new ones, food and medical treatment.
Said Meck Sadiki, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner said the houses were to have been handed over to the victims in July this year, but the plan failed due to various reasons including shortage of funds and delays in acquiring land for to build the houses.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN