LIKE many Governments in the Global South, Zambia struggles with the provision of affordable Housing.
The national housing deficit, which is compounded by rapid population growth and continued rural to urban migration currently stands at two million units with existing policies and legal corpus being ineffective in ensuring access to land, housing finance, and security of tenure, building materials, skilled labour, infrastructure and urban services.
Zambia’s existing housing stock is estimated at over two million units, of which 64 per cent is traditional housing, while 36 per cent is urban housing.
There is a concern that the housing deficit in the country is most likely going to hit between 1.5 and three million by the year 2030 if nothing is done to arrest the situation now.
Because of these alarming statistics coming from policy makers, the Government itself being concerned, institutions such the Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS) has taken it upon itself to start housing projects where they would be able to manage the cost, which will not be too expensive for an ordinary Zambian.
Once ordinary Zambians are empowered, then we know that we are arresting this situation which is going to make the housing situation difficult in 2030.
It is against this backdrop that ZNBS has targeted to disburse mortgages to about 935 families in Zambia with its newly acquired $25 million Senior Loan facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The $25million Senior Loan facility approved by AfDB for the creation of affordable mortgages will go a long way in addressing the housing deficit the country is faced with.
The delivery of affordable housing mortgages has been hampered over the years by the lack of affordable long term funding, hence this facility will assist the institution in the pursuit of its core mandate which is the provision of affordable mortgages.
This is a major milestone in accessing affordable financing to members of the public as it creates an opportunity for low to medium cost earners to access housing finance at more competitive rates.
ZNBS should not just end here, but should continue to extend the same services even to those that are just joining the employment brackets, such as graduates from higher institutions of learning who are fresh and energetic with the desire to own or build their dream houses while they are young.
We say so because many a times, the young graduates would like or desire to own a house of their dream, but lack the means to achieve that dream hence the need for the ZNBS to extend such a gesture to them.
After all, as young employees or entrepreneurs, they have the energy to work hard and pay back the loans on time while they are capable of doing so.
Furthermore, the facility should be seen to pay more attention to the womenfolk who for some time have not been accorded the platform to own property.
It is high time this facility catered for all genders for it to have an all embracing and sustainable appeal to all.
ZNBS should therefore put in place payment plans that will enable all beneficiaries pay without challenges that may compel them to lose the property.
This will encourage would-be applicants to apply for those loans.