By REBECCA MUSHOTA –
GOVERNMENT will award the National Housing Authority (NHA) contracts to build housing units as a way to alleviate the company’s financial woes, the ministry of Infrastructure and Housing has said.
Workers at NHA have gone for many months without pay due to the many challenges the company is facing.
Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Ronald Chitotela said that in order to address most of the challenges, Government would grant NHA contracts to construct houses in the upcoming housing ventures.
Mr Chitotela said in an interview that Government would grant NHA the contract to construct housing units under the project signed with Mercury Asset Partners of the United States.
In August last year, Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mercury Asset Partners, a global financing, and logistics company to finance the building of houses for civil servants.
Mercury Asset Partners has proposed a US$ 600 million financing to undertake the construction of 5,000 low, medium and high-cost housing units for civil servants in Zambia.
“Very soon, the Mercury Asset partnership will be finalised and the NHA will have the contract to build the housing units in order to empower them,” Mr Chitotela said.
He said NHA would also be given contracts to construct provincial administrations, commercial infrastructure and 20,000 housing units that Government would soon embark on under various projects.
Mr Chitotela said NHA would also be given the duty to finish all housing and other infrastructure projects that had been abandoned by other contractors.
He said NHA would soon record positive developments following the injection of money from the contracts to build houses and that the board of directors were also finalising the turnaround strategy.
Part of the housing project Government would embark on encompassed the upgrading of unplanned townships like Msisi and Chawama.
A recent census indicates that Zambia’s current housing deficit stood at 1.5 million housing units and this is projected to hit three million by 2030 if nothing was done to contain the situation.
Most stakeholders have welcomed Government’s decision to construct houses to cushion the deficit.
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