THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has not allocated adequate housing stands for the past 20 years, a development which is discouraging residents from renewing their housing waiting list forms, latest council minutes reveal.
As a result, the number of people on the housing waiting list has remained high.
This came to light during a council meeting after Ward 12 Councillor Lillian Mlilo asked if married women were allowed to acquire housing waiting list forms without including their spouses.
“Councillor L Mlilo wanted to know if married women were allowed to register for a waiting list form without including their spouses? She noted that the number of women registering for the housing waiting list forms was increasing.
“Alderman M Lubimbi also noted that the housing waiting list form should be updated. Women should be empowered and encouraged to register for accommodation,” the minutes read.
In response, the assistant director of Housing and Community Services explained that women were allowed to acquire housing waiting list forms.
Ward 5 Councillor Felix Mhaka suggested that the waiting list form should be upgraded according to the sources of income since a lot of residents had financial challenges.
“Councillor Felix Mhaka’s view was to separate the housing waiting list applicants. A database was established for those who were up-to-date with payments. Some of the residents had applied to be on the waiting list without enough funds to purchase and build a stand.
The waiting list form should be upgraded according to the sources of income. A lot of residents had financial challenges,” read the minutes.
“Every resident had a right to accommodation. Waiting list form was renewed annually. Those who needed accommodation could afford to renew every year. Residents should be encouraged to update their housing waiting list forms.
“Councillor S Moyo concurred. It should be noted that the council had not allocated stands for the past 20 years. This also discouraged residents from renewing their housing waiting list forms. Housing Officers needed more information pertaining to peri-urban leases,” further read the minutes.
The deputy mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube encouraged married couples to share information regarding housing registration to avoid conflicts.
“An affidavit had been requested for single parents who registered for the housing waiting list form and included their children. He also encouraged residents with housing waiting list forms to be always up to date. When stands were available, an advertisement was published in the newspaper calling for those interested and were in the housing waiting list.
“In most cases those with new housing waiting list forms paid more and had strict conditions as compared to those with old up-to-date housing waiting list forms”.
The assistant director of Housing and Community Services further explained that it was not mandatory for single parents to produce signed affidavits when acquiring the housing waiting list forms adding that it was part of service delivery by the local authority to offer cheap and affordable accommodation.