Extend excellent services to real estate developers, local govts told

22Jul 2016
Dickson Ng`hily
The Guardian
Extend excellent services to real estate developers, local govts told

LOCAL government authorities have been urged to extend good services to real estate developers so as to encourage housing construction to meet growing demand caused by population and economic growth.

Angelina Mabula

Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Deputy Minister, Angelina Mabula said during the launch of a real estate stakeholders’ meeting last week aimed at establishing the Tanzania Real Estate Developers Association (TREDA), that developers are an important part of the economy.

Mabula said such services include, devise plans to develop towns, survey plots that would come with basic infrastructure and that councils ought to timely issue land title deeds and construction permits to developers.

“Land is one of the factors that contribute massively to both individual and country’s economy … many now see investment in real estate as of paramount importance yet there are no data on the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product, jobs, environment and life improvement,” she charged.

She added: “It is unfortunate that most of the developers in the country, do not adhere to Land Act Chapter 113, Urban Planning Act No 8 of 2007 and the Unit Titles Act No 16 of 2008 … while some just develop parcels that they don’t own them legally such as open space etc. Others do change land use or construct skyscrapers which is contrary to the building permits issued to them.”

Mabula warned against developers who use substandard or intentionally reduce the quantity of construction materials so as to maximise their profits hence causing disasters.

“Time has to stop…, I call upon all the municipal councils as well as regulatory bodies responsible to oversee that developers in the country execute their projects according to the law,” the Deputy Minister stressed.

In an important development towards the regulation of real estate sector within the country, Mabula said that the bill to establish real Estate Regulatory Authority is in the final stage and is probably awaiting for cabinet approval before being tabled in the Parliament.

“For quite some time now the real estate business has been operating without proper supervision by the government and yet the industry has attracted more investments. So there is a need to govern the sector as it is vital,” she noted.

On the other hand, the deputy minister stressed the fact that the National Housing Corporation (NHC) was established not only to provide affordable accommodation, but also to alleviate housing shortage in the country and that the developer is expected to provide credible services to the public.

“The government is keen. I know NHC can raise rent, they have jurisdiction which gives them the mandate but we have told them to consult the government before embarking on any move, especially when it comes to rent. Rents with the NHC are the lowest compared with those in the market. Now we want them to build more affordable houses that will help the public,” she detailed.

Media reports indicate that in 2012, the then Deputy Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, January Makamba had presented a private motion to the National Assembly on the need to formulate a Rent Restriction Act.

In his proposal, Makamba who is currently serving as Minister of State in the Vice President's Office, Union Affairs and Environment, had cited issues such as the need to establish a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) aimed at regulating the sector and enabling the government to obtain proper tax from the house developers and owners.

It is also noted that currently the country's housing demand increases by an average of 200,000 units per annum with a demand at over 3m units annually.