By CHARITY MOONGA –
THE Government will this year recapitalise Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS) to the tune of K167 million to provide affordable finance to Zambians for the construction of houses.
President Michael Sata said on his face book page yesterday that the Government wanted to cushion the country’s housing deficit, which had resulted in scarce and expensive accommodation for the people.
The President said the Government through ZNBS was promoting its broad branch network in all major towns of Zambia in order for all citizens to access mortgages and loan products to either renovate, purchase or build property.
“To this effect, our Government will this year recapitalise the ZNBS to a tune of K167 million in order to provide affordable finance to our people for the construction of houses,” Mr Sata said.
He said ZNBS targeted middle-income families who earned K2,000 or more per month who could access mortgages of as low as K50,000 and as high as K700,000.
This year, the Government expects the ZNBS mortgage portfolio to grow from K111.9 million as at March 31,2014 to K212.2 million as at March 31, 2015, representing a growth of K100 million.
“Furthermore, the number of our people who will be able to access mortgages is expected to increase by 159 per cent from 1,238 as at December 2013 to 3,363 by the end of December 2014. This represents an average of 172 of our people accessing mortgages per month, from an average of 50 people per month in 2013,” Mr Sata said.
“I am happy to inform you that about 55 per cent of all the mortgages accessed are for building a property and for each property being built at least 10 people are employed either as artisans or labourers.”
He urged ZNBS to forge strategic partnerships to provide completed houses and offer affordable mortgages to the Zambian people, thereby creating a better Zambia for all.
“Furthermore, I expect the Honourable Minister of Local Government and Housing to expeditiously implement my directive during the official opening of the Third Session of the 11th National Assembly to explore various partnerships and investment to cushion the current national housing deficit.
“My passion in housing or property development stems from my vast experience in structuring such projects as maybe attested to the Avondale Housing Development Project, among others. I believe in our people being empowered with suitable accommodation and I will strive to ensure that this dream is realised for the majority of our people,” he said.