Monday, March 1, 2021

Teething problems trouble home improvement scheme

The home improvement or extension scheme-a municipal housing scheme- is doing very well in terms of helping the poor with shelter. However, funding for this has been very slow as compared to its sister scheme, Turnkey. The former’s waiting list dates back to August 2012.

This came to light when the Chairman for Kgatleng District, Mpho Morolong gave a speech during the full council meeting, Monday. He said 21 home improvement projects were funded for the financial year 2013/2015 where 17 projects have been completed. The remaining four are at various stages of construction. The council has also received funding in October 2014 to cover 20 projects for the financial year 2014/2015. So far five projects have been completed; two were cancelled while the rest are progressing well.

“This suggests that an application is likely to be on the waiting list for more than two years. However some funds amounting to P2,042, 306.00 were released to council in February 2015 and this has helped to reduce the waiting list by 42 applications, leaving 40 outstanding applications. I must mention here that we have made numerous appeals to the Ministry of Lands and Housing to be given authority to utilize part of the revolving fund, which has a balance of P13, 822,178.26 to finance the outstanding applications and are yet to receive response,” said Morolong.

As for the turnkey scheme Morolong said of the 25 projects which were still being implemented by council after take over by the Botswana Housing Corporation, only seven are still under construction, five are at plastering stage, one at finishing stage, one at roofing stage and one at slab level.

“There is need for government to review the P60, 000 threshold set for this scheme. I urge you to talk to your constituents to cooperate with the SHHA personnel to ensure completion of these structures. On the other hand BHC is currently constructing 34 housing units for the 2013/14 financial year. Although these houses have not been handed over to council, 11 of them are occupied to guard against vandalism,” he said.

He advised councilors that the district still has high SHHA loan arrears, which stood at P726, 354.93 by the end of January 2015. There was a slight improvement as arrears reduced from P634, 574.02 in March 2014 to March 2014 to P614, 238.79 in April 2014 and then they increased monthly to the current level.

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