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Government has hailed housing co-operatives for helping fulfil Zim-Asset objectives by constructing nearly 1 000 housing units for low income earners over the past few years.

Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni paid tribute to co-operatives in Masvingo over the weekend.

She was speaking at the handover of 215 housing units built for low-income earners, including civil servants and council employees, by Vashandi Housing Co-operative at Victoria Ranch in Masvingo city.

Minister Nyoni commended the sterling work being done by the Zimbabwe National Association of Housing Co-operatives (ZINAHCO) to provide housing for the lowly paid.

She challenged housing co-operatives to continue helping Government and local authorities to reduce the shortage of housing in urban areas.

“The Co-operative Societies Act, with special emphasis on housing cooperatives, also provides for the empowerment of low income earners to provide themselves with decent shelter through the housing cooperatives concept,” said Minister Nyoni.

“The housing co-operative model provides that support and has made a positive contribution to Zim-Asset.

“I would like to commend the work being done by ZINAHCO in making a contribution to the national housing stock and in complementing Government efforts to provide affordable shelter, especially for low income earners.”

Minister Nyoni said about 33 housing co-operatives in the country had so far built 817 housing units for low income earners under the Community Led Infrastructure Facility launched three years ago.

Under the facility, co-operative members get a $5 000 loan to build a core house comprising two rooms, a toilet plus a bath and repay the loan through monthly instalments of $110 over six years.

Speaking at the same event, Masvingo Housing Consortium chairman Cde Wellington Mahwende expressed gratitude to the Zanu-PF Government led by President Mugabe for availing land in peri-urban areas for the construction of houses.

He said many ordinary Zimbabweans were now proud owners of houses in urban areas courtesy of the land reform programme that saw many farms acquired for housing development purposes.

He said the housing backlog in Masvingo city had been reduced owing to massive housing development projects being undertaken by co-operatives at Victoria Ranch.

Source : The Herald

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