Minister of Lands and Housing Henry Phoya has disclosed that Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) will construct more than 1,000 housing units as one way of ensuring easy access and affordable houses in urban areas.
Phoya told reporters in Lilongwe on Tuesday that a Chinese investor Henan Guoji Investment, will carry the project and help bridge the housing deficit for the middle and low income groups of people.
Phoya said Malawi has signed an agreement with Henan Gouji industry to construct a minimum of 1,000 houses within the next 12 months.
“The effects of lack of decent and affordable housing are far reaching and counter-productive as poor living conditions directly affect the productivity of the labour force and the efficiency and competitiveness of the nation and act as a serious drag on economic growth,” Phoya said.
He said according to the UN-Habitat urban Housing Sector Profile Study which was initiated by Ministry of Lands in 2010, Malawi needs to construct 21,000 housing units per year for the next 10 years.
Thus he said the project is a good development which will impact very positively on the current bad housing situation that exists now in most urban areas.
“With the current supply gap, the project will help to reduce the supply gap of 21,000 units per year,” Phoya said.
He further added that Henan Guoji Group will provide training to Malawians on the use of various technologies in the construction industry, thus Malawians benefiting from the program skill wise.
First phase of the project has been earmarked for area 49 in the city of Lilongwe and it will go to the cities of Blantyre and Mzuzu during the next and subsequent phases of the programme.
General Manager for MHC, Wezi Mkandawire expressed gratitude to Peoples Republic of China saying the project will make houses very affordable to people who could not otherwise have access to such good facilities.
She said many Malawians will benefit from the project as MHC is looking at ways of trying to make the houses cheap as possible so that many people have access to them.
“We want to ensure that there is an improvement in the living conditions of people especially those from low and middle income groups,” Mkandawire said.
Furthermore, Mkandawire said her organisation has plans to make the houses comfortable as possible and the range will be two to three bedrooms.
Ground breaking ceremony for the construction of these houses is expected to take place next month(October) this year.
The Henan Guoji Group is expected to finance the construction while MHC will provide the land.
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