BY KABELO SEITSHIRO
Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) intends to increase rental fees prices with more than 100 percent by 1st July 2019.
The Corporation confirmed that indeed a consultative meeting was held with tenants at the Phase 4 Sweets Flats, to inform them of the impending rent adjustments, which are cost recovery based.
This is contrary to BHC’s mission which is to “provide affordable housing solutions to the nation through appropriate solutions” as well as continuing to empower more Batswana with home ownership opportunities through various housing initiatives.
Information from one of the tenants is that two beds flat will increase from P1200 to P3000, and three beds will increase from P1800 to P3600.
BHC Head of Marketing and Communications Gomolemo Zimona stated that the meeting followed other consultative meetings which took place prior to development starts, the objective of which was to inform tenants of improvements which were to come. He added that the Corporation used this platform to thank the tenants for their cooperation during the period of the project which could have caused inconveniences due to increased construction activity on site.
“The matter is still under further consideration given the feedback from the meeting. Once the matter has been concluded, the tenants and indeed the media will be informed formerly,” said Zimona.
He also stated that the meeting was consultative in its nature to communicate that indeed the Corporation is considering adjusting rentals with a view to recoup the capital invested in the upgrades at this particular property.
Quizzed on what areas of BHC houses have been affected around the country, Zimona stated that the anticipated recouping of costs is expected to affect all re-development projects around Gaborone where BHC has carried out substantial improvements. He added that these are mainly high-density properties.
He is of the view that whilst it may be necessary for the Corporation to make rental adjustments as mentioned before, long-term sustainability of the Corporation to deliver effectively and efficiently on its mandate is of paramount importance.
Zimona stated that the Corporation does not get any subventions from government adding that as such it has to recover all costs incurred in its business operations, in this case the improvements and additional features made to the existing properties.
He said in this instance the proposed rental adjustment is to recover costs of capital improvements, adding that these improvements include security, boundary walls, pavements, covered car parks, refuse bays, street lighting and management offices.
“As per our lease agreement, a tenant is given a month notice prior to any adjustment being affected. The corporation is still making considerations regarding these and shall be communicated after all stakeholders have been consulted,” said Zimona.